Thinking of throwing an outdoor party? Our very own Faith at the Kitchn pulled together one of the prettiest summer dinner parties we've seen. Complete with peonies, Prosecco, and loads of tea lights, it's full of ideas for throwing your own casual get-together outside. Here's the shopping list.
Invitations and Place Cards
If you're looking for unique and affordable invitations, Etsy has several sellers who specialize in custom invites or downloadable designs that you can print yourself. Faith's came from Etsy seller empapers.
When you're entertaining a big group of people, you want a simple tablecloth that's large enough to cover a long surface and doesn't cost too much. IKEA's Admete Tablecloth is 100 percent linen, 87" x 57", and costs $30.
If you have sewing skills, it's easy to make your own napkins from a large piece of cloth, but if you're not a DIYer, stores like World Market, CB2, and Target are good places to shop for inexpensive fabric napkins. These solid napkins with trim are $12 for a set of 4 at World Market.
Glassware and Dishes
Maison de Kristine
These Duralex Tumblers are a staple of French bistro style. They're made from durable tempered glass, and you can find them for $18.95 per pack of 6 at online store Maison de Kristine.
Sur La Table
You can find cheap wine glasses at IKEA or World Market, but if you're ready to upgrade to a more durable set, Crate and Barrel sells some nice mid-range lines, like these Nora Wine Glasses for $9.95 each.
If you have room in your cupboard, it doesn't hurt to have a set of inexpensive party dishes that you can break out when you're feeding a larger crowd than average. For her party, Faith used IKEA's Lugin Plates, which are ultra-affordable at 79 cents apiece.
If you find you don't have enough silverware for a full sit-down dinner party, World Market sells whole sets for less than $50. This 40-piece flatware set comes with the tray for just $35.
Sur La Table
Ramekins and custard cups aren't expensive, but they elevate small dishes by providing individual servings for each guest. Chain store Sur La Table has a big selection of ramekins, including these custard cups for $7 per set of 4.
Decorations, Flowers, and Lighting
For a few years now, these DIY Martha Stewart tissue paper pom poms have been a popular party decoration. If you don't want to make your own, Etsy has tons of them. This mixed pack of 7 from Etsy seller Pom Love is $33.
Mason jars are perfect party decorations — they're inexpensive, and they can double as flower vases or tealight holders. Online retailer SaveOnCrafts sells sets of 12 Mason Jars for $18, or you can try Specialty Bottle for smaller jars.
Whole Foods Market
Grocery store flowers are fine for a casual party. Just buy several bunches and split them up into your own arrangements. Faith shopped at Whole Foods for discounted late-season peonies with greenery and filler.
To see the whole party, complete with the menu and a full photo slideshow, click here. You can also find several related recipes at the Kitchn.
• Prosecco Drinks
• Zucchini Fritters
• Baby Roast Potatoes with Lemons and Oregano
• Dill Chicken Salad in Phyllo Cups
• Lemon Verbena Tisane
• Ina Garten's Lemon Cake with Martha Stewart Ruffle Icing
Photo: Faith Durand