Recently we attended the Pop Up Dinner LA 2016, hosted by Handmade Events and had such a blast! The Pop Up Dinner is a giant, outdoor picnic with amazing live entertainment and inspiring designs. Guests dress in white and bring along their own food and drinks. The exciting part about the Pop Up Dinner is that attendees aren’t told the location ahead of time—it gets announced merely a few hours before the event! This year, Handmade Events didn’t disappoint with their choice of location. Held at the Santa Monica Pier, the entire experience was enhanced by breathtaking ocean views vintage charm. Attendees are also given the opportunity at the dinner to design their own table. This was such a fun part of the event because of the variation we saw around us. For our table, we collaborated with some very talented friends to create a Bali-themed design. Anna and Gino of Oh So Pretty Rentals & Event Styling provided a number of classic and unique décor items, Stephanie of Handlebar Studios beautifully photographed the event, and Shelley of Here Comes the Blooms adorned our table with the most incredible floral arrangements! We dined on delicious Indonesian food from Simpang Asia and enjoyed a tasty dessert by The Trim Tart. In this Create in 8 we’re going to show you how easy it is to recreate our tropical paradise inspired look on your own!
1. Lovely Linens. The linens for our tablescape echoed the neutral-toned theme of the event. A soft white tablecloth, ivory tablerunner, and ivory napkins kept the look crisp and clean. To bring in an earthy element reminiscent of dark Balinese wood, we selected brown placemats for each place setting.
2. Surprising Dishware. These gold dot dinner plates and flatware by Oh So Pretty Rentals provided a dash of unexpected whimsy to the table that on their own don’t necessarily scream Bali, but somehow they worked really well with our design. We topped each dinner plate with a smaller plate made of sustainable bamboo. This kept cleanup easy and infused more organic elegance into the look. For drinks, simple glass wine goblets completed the table setting.
3. Unique Statement Pieces. We found some interesting treasures to enhance our Bali theme, like this turtle paperweight that we spray-painted gold and candle holders in the shape of lotuses. Cost Plus World Market is a great source for finds like these, in fact, we found two Indonesian instruments there that we also used as table décor, but you can usually source unique pieces from yard sales and thrift stores as well.
4. Striking Focal Points. We had a few points of visual interest in contrasting sizes on our table which really kept the look appealing. Oh So Pretty Rentals brought tall, distressed wood candleholders and a large rope-wrapped glass jar candle holder that packed a punch when combined with the smaller statement pieces we used.
5. Pretty Parasols. Parasols dripping with strings of delicate pink carnations were an absolute show-stopping element on our table. Parasols create height while still allowing guests to see each other’s face and converse easily. To execute this look we took tall, rectangular glass vases and placed the parasols inside, securing them with lots of river rocks. Then we tied strings of carnations on fishing wire above the open part of the parasol to allow the flowers to drip downward in a breathtaking display.
6. Flourishing Florals. In addition to the strings of carnations, our table was also bursting below with floral beauty. Here Come the Blooms created a number of gorgeous arrangements in pinks, creams, greens, and touches of orange with tall amaryllises, hydrangeas, roses, ranunculus and lush tropical greenery. They were purely amazing and so pretty!
7. DIY Menus & Placecards. It’s easier than ever to make your own menus and placecards for events. We wanted to keep the placecards simple and elegant. They consisted of folded pieces of cardstock on which we hand-lettered each name in metallic gold marker. The menus were created on Canva.com, a design website that has a wide array of premade graphics and fonts to choose from, and the best part is that it’s easy enough for any novice to use. We sized these menus to be vertically-long and slim which contrasted well against the horizontally-folded napkins.
8. Comforting Candlelight. Candlelight is essential for any nighttime picnic, but it took our Bali theme up a notch by creating an ethereal glow that brought each element of the table to life. The contrasting heights of our candleholders provided plenty of light to see each other comfortably and added warmth and luminosity to make our dinner extra special. Candles are an affordable way to kick up the elegance of your events exponentially without a lot of cost. Small votives are an inexpensive choice, and more stores have now begun to carry flameless candles in various sizes as a safer alternative.