To us, the summer season means cooking tasty meals with our favorite in-season veggies and spending the longer days with friends and family. Throwing a backyard dinner party is the perfect way to do both. And while the menu may be the most important aspect of planning a summer soiree, the decor deserves just as much attention. Whether you’re planning an intimate affair or a dinner for 20, these 14 gorgeous table settings will be the only inspiration you need. P.S. Don’t forget to check out the B+C shop for all the supplies you need to make entertaining a breeze this summer.

intimate brunch

1. Intimate Florals: With a larger dinner party, you can make a big impact with bold decor. But when you’re entertaining for a smaller crowd, too much decoration can be a bit overwhelming. For an intimate get-together, a colorful floral centerpiece is all the decor you’ll need. (via 100 Layer Cake)

fresh fruit

2. Fresh Fruit: Even if they’re available year-round, getting to eat our favorite fruits and veggies at their peak is one of the best things about summer. Summertime is the season for berries, tomatoes, apricots and peaches, and while they’ll taste great in any recipe, they’ll look even better as a table runner. (via The Jungalow)

yellow gingham

3. Gingham Print: You can choose a theme for your backyard party, but sticking to just one color could prove to be easier to execute. Just mix prints like a yellow gingham table runner and yellow apple-print napkins and voila! Your table will instantly have a fun, playful vibe. (via Chris Cooney)

Ruffled - photo by -

4. Vintage Bottles: A large floral centerpiece may work on a small table, but when you have a long picnic-stye table, smaller bouquets housed in vintage brown glass bottles will ensure that all your guests get to enjoy the fragrant blooms. (via Brian Evans Photography)

peach name holder

5. Peach Place Card: Place cards are a great way to make your dinner feel more personalized and more organized when it comes to seating a big party. So skip the boring metal placecard holders and use a fresh peach instead. It will play double-duty by telling your guests where to sit and serving as a quick dessert. (via Justin DeMutiis Photography)


6. Simple Rustic: An outdoor dinner party is the perfect opportunity to use a rustic theme. Keep it simple with a natural color scheme, greenery and just the sunset as decoration. (via Ann Street Studio)

fresh strawberries

7. Fruit Favors: Have fresh strawberries waiting for your guests and they may have a hard time waiting to eat your delicious dinner. (via Alexandra Whitney Photography)

wooden placemat

8. Wooden Placemats: Natural wood placemats under your dinner plates take full advantage of the outdoor dining setting. Bonus points if you personalize them for each guest. (via Cakeje)

candle light

9. Candlelight: Candlelight shouldn’t just be relegated to romantic dinners indoors. Arranging various sizes of candles on your dinner table creates an intimate space perfect for those late-night conversations. (via Divine Day Photography)

floral tablerunner

10. Floral Table Runner: Traditional table runners in different colors and fun prints are fine, but who wants to have a table that’s just fine? A table runner made of flowers will take your setting from blah to gorgeous. (via Scarlett O’Neill)

backyard dinner

11. Succulent Centerpiece: You know how much we love a good succulent around here. We think a succulent centerpiece is the perfect addition to a simple backyard table setting. (via Christine Chang)

pineapple vase

12. Pineapple Vase: After you use the edible parts of the pineapple for a tasty dish, rethink throwing away the outside rind and repurpose it into a vase for your table’s centerpiece. (via Sugar and Cloth)

bohemian gemstone

13. Summer Sunset: Nothing is better inspiration for decorating than the colors of a summer sunset. Rich plums and magenta tones will look great in the floral arrangements, on the table runner and even on the menus. (via Paula Bartosiewicz Photography)

mason jar florals

14. Mason Jar Florals: Mason jars have quickly become one of our favorite versatile party supplies. You can serve drinks in them, use them as dessert dishes or just to hold bouquets of wildflowers. (via My Wedding Reception Ideas)

Do you have any foolproof summer party tips we didn’t list? Share them in the comments below!