Monday, May 23, 2011

Table for Twelve: Picnic in the Park

I've come to think of Table for Twelves like my digital children, so to pick a favorite would seem not only difficult but also kind of wrong.  None are better than the others, they're just...different.  Valentine's Day, for example, was the sweet one, Breakfast at Tiffany's was the classy one, Royal Wedding was the regal one, but this last Table for Twelve?  Now that was the FUN one.  In preparation for picnic season I gathered the troops, said a prayer for sunny skies and set sail to Nashville's Centennial Park.  Thankfully the day turned out to be a gorgeous one, but we had more than just the sun to celebrate.  I scheduled this Table for Twelve to coincide with the birthdays of my brother Joey and our sweet friend Elijah, so you'll notice a bit of a birthday curve ball in the mix as well.

In terms of the table itself, I used yards and yards of red gingham fabric to create a classic picnic tablecloth.  I kept the centerpieces simple- jars filled with beautiful wildflowers in our color palate- to give the table a bit of an organic vibe.  I was able to use the last of my Mom's wicker plate holders (apparently these were all the rage in the 90's) for the place settings, but since her supply dwindled throughout the years I used bamboo chargers to fill in the gaps.  My favorite touch was the mason jar glasses filled with ice cold lemonade (and a sprig of mint)!

I arranged to have "lunch boxes" catered through Whole Foods, complete with artisan sandwiches, pasta salad and a cookie.  We then created our own boxes to display the food and marked them with the type of sandwich inside.  I added a green salad, buffalo wings, potato chips and a big spread of fresh fruit to the menu (thank you, Costco) and boy oh boy was it good.

There were quite a few DIY projects involved in making our picnic extra special, but a few stood out as my favorites.  To shield our guests from the heat (as best we could), we put together really adorable fans and displayed them in a picnic basket.  We wrote a birthday message on ours, but this same idea could be used for a wedding, family reunion, or any number of outdoor events.  Since I like to keep Table for Twelve chocked full of treats, I put together a little goodie bag for everyone at the party.  Despite the potential for disaster (I had visions of destroyed iPhones as I filled my shopping cart) I loaded them with water guns, bubbles and candy.  We wrote everyone's name on mini-chalk boards and hot-glue-gunned them to bright yellow takeout-esque containers (a nod to the boys love of Chinese food).  I think my very favorite touch, however, was the pennant garland we made and hung from a nearby tree.  The wind made it a little hard to snap a perfect picture, but it sure did frame our party area well.

I got the boys a few outdoor games as their presents (ladderball, bocce, a new football and the most legit frisbee you ever did see), so we spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the park.  And as I think you can see below, it was a blast.

For more information on anything you saw in this or any Table for Twelve, or to find out more about Design-Muse's party planning services, contact me here.  Happy picnicing!


.Jessica. said...

This looks incredible. I'm always so excited to see your Table for Twelve creations. The glass mason jars and mini chalkboards are my favorite touches!

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