Inviting Table Settings Made for Outdoor Entertaining

Entertaining alfresco just got easier with these beautiful tablescapes that will take your backyard gathering to the next level.

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February 03, 2020

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Dining Alfresco

Woven materials set a laid-back, stylish tone in this picturesque outdoor space. Lighting comes from a trio of globe pendants above. Hanging the globes from different heights and incorporating an array of sizes makes this setup pretty to look at day and night.

Spring It On

Add seasonal touches to your outdoor tabletop with botanically shaped elements. Here, the floral shape of the plate adds an unexpected-yet-inviting pop of spring while a mix of light gray and white sets the perfect backdrop for the vibrant garden tones.

See More Photos: Set an All-Natural Spring Table for Your Outdoor Party

Cozy Courtyard Soiree

Floral, copper and rose gold accents coordinate with navy in this gleaming fall tablescape. The combination of stone and vines in the space provides texture while a cozy throw draped over the plush bench adds a feeling of warmth throughout.

Inexpensive Chic

A kraft paper runner is an inexpensive and stylish option for an outdoor get-together. Here, kraft paper is stamped with gold leaves to add a little pizzazz. Pro Tip: Running the paper cross-wise eliminates the need for placemats.

See More Photos: Rustic Fall Table Setting Ideas for Outdoor Celebrations

Grab and Go

Anytime you're casually entertaining guests outdoors, it's wise to take the hosting pressure off of yourself by setting the table up grab-and-go style. This simply means adding stacks of plates to the table, along with a pitcher and vessels of fresh ingredients to grab once the grill is fired up.

A Romantic Affair

Set the mood for a romantic affair with a long and draped table linen. Take the mood up a notch by pairing the linen with lush florals, candlesticks, plates and goblets in coordinating hues such as the slate blue and brass seen here.

Bring the Indoors Out

No patio furniture? No problem! Weather permitting, bring your dining table, chairs, china, glasses and utensils outdoors to turn your patio into a fine-dining experience full of fresh air. Guests will appreciate the extra effort and your carefully prepared meal will look (and taste) much better served on china instead of flimsy, disposable plates.

A Place for Everyone

Place cards are a great way to ensure every guest has a seat at the table. The place cards in this rustic setting by Manvi Drona-Hidalgo get some height from birch log slices that echo the wood bark chargers.

See More Photos: Host a Wintertime Picnic in the Park

Punchy Pastels

Incorporate bold punches of color into your next table setting with saturated floral arrangements, dinnerware and linens. Here, coral, celadon, hot pink and light aqua all work together to create a beautiful setting that is sure to have guests in awe.

Coastal Charm

Bring the seaside to your outdoor space no matter where you are with a color palette of breezy blues and whites. Here, the two shades blend harmoniously on top of a rich wooden bar table to create a charming coastal vibe.

Colorful Display

Crazy for color? Incorporate the rainbow in a fun way with an array of eye-catching colored glassware. Pair them with neutral linens, like white lace toppers, to make the bold pieces really pop.

Leafy Place Card

Think outside the box (and save $$) by putting nature to work. A magnolia leaf serves as a place card and pops against a black place setting on this romantic, moody tablescape.

Hues of Red, White & Blues

Americana colors + a few nautical nods = a winning setting for any summer soiree. For a traditional look that feels fresh, set your table with a mix of new and old items while keeping the focus on the tried-and-true: red, white and blue.

See More Photos: Party Patriotically With a Red, White + Blue Backyard Bash

Light the Way

A collection of candles in varying heights of gold lanterns makes for an eye-catching centerpiece. Styling the gold with a natural-hued place setting creates an organic look against the chic display. Don't forget to light the candles as the sun goes down and watch the magic continue.

Striking Southwestern

With stunning Tuscon, Arizona views all around, this outdoor dining space takes a note from its desert landscape. The simple centerpiece consists of cacti in terracotta pots while turquoise chairs and a bright orange table linen infuse the Southwestern inspiration.

Rock the Rainbow

Rock the rainbow for your outdoor soiree, birthday party, pride celebration or any get-together by mixing vintage dishes in ROYGBIV's saturated shades. Using a plain white table linen allows for the rich hues to shine in all their glory.

Sophisticated Glam

Gold and gray take this outdoor party up a notch in the glam department. Yellow glass pendants add light overhead while a narrow table runner below is a delicate way to dress the table without the fuss of a large tablecloth.

Go Buffet Style

For entertaining made easy, assemble the food buffet style down the center of the table with the main dish in the middle. Here, classic place settings are complemented by a moody candle display while stylish vessels contain the side dishes.

Festive for Fall

Fall is the ideal time to entertain outdoors. Draw inspiration from the season's flowers, plants and foliage to create a casual table setting perfect for dining alfresco. With a few cozy and inviting touches, a rustic picnic table becomes a show-stopping setting for a fall dinner party.

See More Photos: Rustic Fall Table Setting Ideas for Outdoor Celebrations

Energizing Patterns

Add a high-energy look to your outdoor dining space with a DIY tablecloth made from fabric scraps in eye-catching patterns and colors. For best results, pick up a white ready-made table cloth, lay your scraps out patchwork style, then bond them to the tablecloth with fabric glue or by sewing them together. Pair with fun dishware and napkins for an energizing display.

Driftwood Direction

Let texture be the star of your table. Rustic, nautical elements like a wooden table, linen napkins and driftwood are right at home at this seaside dinner. Add a piece of personalized driftwood at each place setting as a sweet, natural memento.

DIY Decor

Add some floating color to your outdoor display with this easy and fun paper flag garland. Download our free template, print the flags onto colorful cardstock, cut out and connect each one with brads. Attach the ends to two stakes in the ground and enjoy a playful burst of color over the table.

Download for Free: Free Printable Party Flag Banner Templates

A Welcoming Tablescape

An outdoor table welcomes diners thanks to an inviting and intriguing tablescape. Dining alfresco is a great option for hosting family and friends when indoor space is limited.

Nautical Notions

Burlap-wrapped Mason jars with candles and metal pails for lobster shells serve as the centerpiece on this outdoor dining table set up for a clambake. The nautical-themed runner complements the red, white and blue place settings for a festive display.

Silver + Gold

Instead of making your table selections too matchy-matchy and dependent upon one set color, don't be afraid to mix metallics and textures throughout. Here, a gorgeous rose quartz plate charger with a gold edge is used beneath a silver place setting, adding an instant luxe factor to the table.

Center of Attention

As seen on Fixer Upper, a massive picnic-style dining table, crafted from salvaged wood, is the focal point of this outdoor space. Place settings for sixteen are set against a natural woven table runner while bottles of fresh flowers line the middle.

Take Home Surprise

For a sophisticated approach to a fall table setting, use an assortment of gray, white and painted metallic pumpkins. Mini white pumpkins make great place card holders and also double as favors for your guests to take home.

Relaxed Vintage Charm

A black outdoor table and chairs serve as a neutral base for blue and copper accents to shine. An oversized floral arrangement adds color and texture to the table ready for guests.

Summer Traditions

It wouldn't be summer without an outdoor lobster bake. Cover the table with newspaper for an inexpensive way to bring festivity to your party. Shellfish is so vivid that you don't need a ton of decor to create an appealing-yet-casual table setting. Add some simple dinnerware to complete the look without going over the top.

Pretty Potted Plants

A grove of olive trees plays host to an intimate dinner party set around a large wood table. A bright centerpiece and white linens create a casual table setting for alfresco dining while pretty potted plants serve as take-home party favors.

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