June 19, 2022
Bringing my guests to INDIA from my Dining Table
I finally had the opportunity to host my very first dinner party in my new home and decided to bring my guests to INDIA, directly from my Dinning Table.
You may ask, why India?
Well, my friend Reema (who is East Indian) and I were discussing how wonderful it would be to teach a group of couples how to make some Indian dishes and we thought that that would be a GREAT concept for a dinner party. Something fun, interactive and different. I quickly had the idea of ordering aprons for each person so we would be ready to cook and protect our clothing at the same time, but then our little group grew to 16 people and we decided to go in the direction of a standard dinner party from start to finish. At least I had their party favors already in mind!
Now the planning.... my favorite part!
When I begin the process of planning a dinner/party, Google and Pinterest become by BFF's in the early process. Which is also why I love planning in advance so I have TIME to sit with my ideas and have the opportunity for my creativity to really flow, grow and transform. However with this large of a group, I quickly realized that I would have to have two tables because I could not fit everyone at one. So I decided that I would have a table for the ladies and one for the men which meast TWO tables to create.... HOW MUCH FUN!!!!
THE LADIES TABLE DESIGN
Indian parties and dinners are filled with bright and bold colors, but to decide which ones was not that easy because they are all so beautiful. I decided to lead with fuschia's then found the combo of fuschi and oranges and I was sold. I knew gold would be my accent colors, so my gold cutlery and gold trim water glasses would be in order. I also decided on lanterns as a feature on the ladies table but wasn't sure how to make them interesting as just on the table could be very flat and dull. I found these shepherd hooks for lanterns (they were all black but I spray painted them gold for continuity) and they added height and uniqueness, which I was looking for. For the place settings, I decided to use orange napkins, a variety of mixed silk flowers for napkin rings, and personalized menu's from Zazzle which completed this tablecloth from spoonflower. I used my orange wine glasses from Estelle Colored Glasses to complete these settings and now all she needed was to be assembled.
(Click here for this tablecloth)
THE MEN'S TABLE DESIGN
For the men's table I knew I wanted opposing colors but when I couldn't find the color combo I was looking for I decided to take one last look in my own collection. There it was, a blue & gold Tablecloth from William & Sonoma that I bought about a decade ago. Not only was it perfect in color, but it had elephants and tigers on it and it was simply perfect. It also led me to the special element on their table: elephants.
Did you know that elephants are considered to be the traditional symbol of divinity and royalty?Also, a provider of fortune and good luck? I was onto something here.
"Elephants are revered as a symbol of good luck, prosperity, destroyer of evil, remover of obstacles, as well as strength, power, wisdom, memory, & vitality."
No pressure men!
In staying with the elephant theme, I found these beautiful elephant candle holders and vases on Amazon. For their place setting I used these dark blue linen napkins that I had and used my gold napkin rings. Then I pulled out my light blue Estelle Colored Glasses to complete these place settings. All this needed to, was to be assembled.
Now for continuity, because we are in the same space; I chose the same gold chargers, cutlery, white plates (to not compete with the tablecloth), and clear water glasses with gold trim.
The final piece of this design were the flowers.
I always encourage my customers and subscribers to develop a close relationship with their florist so that when moments like these arise and you want something really specific, you both can create magic. I had many conversations with my florist and eventually had her over to my home to see and collect my items.
I knew for the ladies that I was going to use all the gold vases I had alongside my gold mint julep glasses (if you follow me on instagram then you know what I mean here) but I needed something with height to compliment the shepherds with lanterns. My florist found these two gold Chandeliers and it was the final missing piece. We kept all the colors in the same family as the tablecloth because I really didn't want them to compete. I couldn't have been happier with how this turned out.
For the men, I knew I wanted to use white vases as I thought it would be a great contrast to the tablecloth; and again not compete but I really wanted the center of the tablecloth to be seen. My florist came up with the use of an adjustable gold metal stand which allowed us to not only see the beautiful tablecloth design but also gave me height and something interesting on my table. I found these awesome elephant vases and gold elephant candle holders to tie it all together and we also chose to keep the colors of the flowers in the same family as the tablecloth. I LOVE this design so much and will use it again for sure.
In my invitation to my guests, I asked them all to please wear white. I know that was a bold choice with the type of food we were having but I really wanted the tables to stand out and be the stars of the evening and they certainly were. The food was a hit from appetizers to main courses! Wine was flowing and even a chai tea dessert drink to cap off the night. We laughed and created incredible new memories with our new friends and going to India was definitely a highlight of the year thus far.
I encourage you to create your very own travel dinner because not only is it creatively so fun, it's different, you will learn something new and it will definitely be something all of your guests will talk about in the years to follow.
Remember, to always have fun!