Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. ~Henry James
The warm and whimsical energy of summer almost seems to be celebrating with or without our help, so why not join in!! The possibilities for creating a fanciful and fun table setting for a gathering seem almost limitless! From afternoon picnic-style to evening campfire-inspired, many options exist for outdoor decor. I decided to create an indoor setting, though, just in case of rain, and this year, I found myself swept away with the romanticism of a Midsummer’s Night Dream… so fairies it is!
Below are the details of my selections!
The tablecloth is a solid yellow that I have had for years. I cannot be sure where I originally purchased it, but I recommend purchasing gently used from ebay. I think it feels wonderful to recycle through reuse when possible!
I wanted to create a fairy grove, which required the combination of both magical elements and natural ones. I chose these blue/green rattan placemats for their naturalistic texture and their sky/water-like color, which contrast nicely to the yellow both above and below them. They are available at Pier 1 Imports.
This lovely art glass china might be one of the sunniest dish sets I have ever seen. In fact, it almost glows, and that is precisely why I chose it! It is made by a German company called Dibbern and the particular pattern is “Kristina”. I originally purchased it at Crate and Barrel. It is no longer available there. However, Replacements, Ltd. does carry some of the pieces as they become available.
If you are having a course requiring bowls, here is an alternate setting using all the same elements but then adding Pfaltzgraff “Summer Breeze” glass dessert bowls also available at Replacements, Ltd. The transparency of this choice works by adding just enough but not too much!
Water glasses were purchased in a set at TJ Maxx. Petite European crystal wine glasses look lovely and allow small, frequent pours for course pairings. These were purchased on ebay. When considering a purchase, it may be helpful to note that these tend to be the same glasses I use every holiday, so they get plenty of use. At times I embellish them by using seasonal stirrers or glowing LiteCubes in the water glasses. (For this particular festival, glowing yellow might be sunny and fun!)
The centerpiece for this festival is a magical fairy grove! Each element is detailed below:
Tapers & Ribbons
Two yellow palm wax tapers (purchased online at Aloha Bay) sit within off-white holders purchased at Linens & Things. (Note: beeswax, soy, or palm wax candles are preferable to paraffin as they do not release toxic compounds into your environment.) The multi-colored ribbons really add a beautiful festive flair and dress up the holders making them look unique despite the fact that I use them very frequently. The ribbons are simply brightly-colored satin from Michaels. The trick here was to vary the widths, so that some ribbons were a bit thicker than others. This offered a deeper richness and complexity to the embellishment.
The ceramic mushrooms really help to contextualize the fairies. These are available at Michaels Stores.
Lovely and versatile “candy pink” cotton napkins purchased at Amazon are nestled within Circus Bead Napkin Rings available at Pier 1 Imports. I have used these napkins over and over again. It is amazing how different rings create a whole new look!
The fans serve as playful reminders that summertime can be hot and that sunlight and heat are part of what we celebrate when we attune ourselves with this season! These are available at Michaels Stores. Just as with the favor jars above, these are sold boxed in sets in the wedding section of the store.
Personalized Wine Charms
Wine charms with each guest’s initials are not only very flattering but also quite practical, especially when pairing courses with wines and therefore involving small, frequent pours. Click for the instructions for making these sparkling and ever so versatile personalized wine charms.
Place Cards & Holders
Summer Party Crackers
No table setting is complete without these! I cannot even convey how much these favors are enjoyed! Click for detailed instructions on Summer Party Cracker-making.
Okay, here it is… Happy summer everyone!!!!!!