Once the holidays are over, the winter months can feel long and cold. Don’t let that get you down! Entertaining isn’t only reserved for the holiday season or warm summer nights. No! The ladies at Gather Events show us how to create a magical and thoughtful winter dinner party. So, don’t hesitate to host something now! The muted tones and rustic elements of the season can be shown off beautifully on a tablescape. The Gather Events team shows us how with a few entertaining tips to keep in mind whenever you’re planning a dinner party, but especially in the winter months.
We held our gathering this year on Vashon Island in the Pacific Northwest, in modern cottages tucked in next to woods, went cider tasting, did a team ‘Top Chef’ challenge, walked the beach, and dined outdoors near a roaring fire. For our winter dinner party, we brought in our friends from Table Catering to make a delicious spread of NW inspired fare. To set the scene we utilized ultra feminine blush tones and delicate fabrics to compliment and contrast the rustic yet modern setting. Balancing Balloons rentals provided the tableware to complete the look. Erin of Land Floral created a local cherry blossom installation that crowned the table and stunning lush blooms for the tablescape. Our in house stationer, Alissa, designed menus that echoed the feminine modern aesthetic. Our dinner was photographed by the talented Matthew Land (who happens to be married to the florist!).
Here are a few tips for planning a winter dinner party:
1. Go for intimate: Inviting a select group of people will keep your dinner party feeling cozy and allow for ample group conversations (or sing-a-longs in our team’s case!).
2. Winter is all about creature comforts; investing in good food and drink will maximize your guests’ experiences. For an elegant dinner party menu, consider serving multiple courses. It will extend the conversation and everyone’s dining pleasure.
3. Winter can be chilly, but that doesn’t mean you have to rule out having an outdoor experience (climate depending of course!). If you’re hosting outdoors in the cold season, you can use a roaring fire, space heaters, and blankets to keep things toasty.
4. Design: We love a neutral palette when it comes to winter aesthetics, but we love adding a splash of color even more. For our GATHER Events island retreat we brought a gentle warmth to late winter by adding delicate pinks to echo the flowering trees that were just beginning to bud on the island.
5. Create beautiful spaces for lounging before and after the meal. Use a variety of complimentary seating and small tables. Then, accessorize your lounge with candles, small vases of flowers or foliage and some blankets or furs.
6. Add natural elements: bring in flowers, branches or foliage. Installations make a big impact, but even well placed bud vases can go a long way.
7. Stationery can set the stage (so to speak) and also help guests know what to expect. Menus and place cards at place settings keep guests in the loop, but why not also have a bar menu to take the guesswork out of drink choices.
8. If you’re having a dinner party at home, know your limitations and outsource as needed. Hiring professionals saves you time and frees you up to enjoy your own gathering.
9. Shed a little light: the nights may be long but candles and twinkling lights bring joy and comfort in the darkness.
We hope you found these tips helpful and feel confident to bring your own winter dinner party to life! For more dinner party ideas, check out this winter white dinner party!