A few weeks ago the Creative @ Heart Conference was in town and I had the honor of hosting their Speaker Dinner! Since we expected about 40 people, I knew having the evening in our backyard would give us the most room to roam about, mingle, and eat.
If you haven't heard of this conference, I encourage you to check it out...it's a faith-based conference for Creative Small Business Owners. And it's phenomenal.
Because you know...they're FREE!
(We found ours at Sherwin Williams, and a few local landscaping companies)
We obviously had a lot of help...well, a lot of attempted help anyway.
Sigh...puppies and kids all over the place. haha
A lot of the palates were in horrible shape so the super dirty ones or those falling apart went on the bottom. The ones less-likely to give us splinters went on top! We did most "tables" two palates high, though some we did three.
Can we talk about these floral arrangements for a minute?! My new friend Sarah from Something Styled created them...and brought along all the gorgeous hurricane and votive candles (which fyi are all battery operated, so no more worrying about wind blowing them out!).
I mentioned not having a huge budget for all this gorgeousness, so I mostly shopped my house when decorating. All the pillows are from our beds, couches, and various places from around the house.
Some of the blankets are actually tablecloths, some are the duvets from the kids beds.
As for the tablescape, most of the lace covering the palates are actually window panels from Ikea. We cut them in half and since they came as a pair...we covered four "tables" for $12.99!
I've been collecting mismatched vintage plates, silverware, and glassware for awhile now (my husband Ben says I'm a secret hoarder. I don't entirely disagree!) but since the party was for such a large group, I needed to add to my collection.
Goodwill and garage sales are my go-to's for it all.
In fact, did you know you can be a Member of Goodwill? Here's a little public service announcement for ya...if you're a Member, you'll get emails every now telling when they have a 50% off sale. Or when everything in store is .99 cents (I just got the most fun vintage caned chair the other day for $2 during one of these sales!). You're welcome.
Nothing on these "tables" (aside from the floral arrangements and candles) came from anywhere other than Ikea, Goodwill, and garage sales.
I told you this gorgeousness wasn't out of your budget!!
I found this fun, old table on the side of the road this summer. FOR FREE. I've been wanting something in our front yard during the warm summer months, so we can watch our six kids out playing while enjoying a glass of wine or dinner.
We wanted to create an opportunity to chat with the neighbors while they walk their dogs...you know...that sort of thing.
Anyway, I moved the table to our backyard for the evening and set out fruit-infused water options, watermelon, fun straws, and a random collection of punch cups (also found at Goodwill through the years).
The 60's looking tablecloth (from a garage sale) is round, so we just placed it to hang halfway off the table. The globe and table cloth are are usually in the Family Room upstairs!
Use what ya got, friends!!
Please don't feel you need to go out and buy new things when you have a party.
Shop your house!!
Do not tell ANYBODY what I'm about to share. Promise?
These cute little 4" personal pies are not from an expensive bakery.
They're from Walmart. I'm not kidding.
I'm not generally a Walmart fan, but we've been trying to be extra careful financially lately, so I'll pop in from time to time. Near the bakery, I passed a table full of individually boxed tiny pies for .50 cents each. I know, I know....that's crazy.
I was suddenly serving desert for 40 people for only $20!
As soon as I saw them, I knew I just needed to make some homemade whipping cream (I'll share the recipe soon), press on a few berries and colorful sprig (I used misty limonium, found in the floral section of our neighborhood grocery store)...and ended up being the cutest things ever.
And guess what...guests kept raving about how yummy they were, and asking if they were homemade. I just chuckled to myself.
I'm a big fan of doing things beforehand...so if you're wanting a pretty little cocktail to serve for your friends, here's the recipe for a drink I call Slushy Blush that can be made days ahead!!
Did I miss sharing any details? Let me know if you have questions...would LOVE this post to be an encouragement to you as you host your own pretty picnic. See how doable it is??
And when (not if!!) you do, post your photos on Instagram and tag me on my hashtag #letspartylikegirls!! I can't wait to see your photos!!
PS Thank you dear Alicia Lacy Photography for these amaaaaazing shots before the party was fully underway!