Christmas Tablescape Roundup

I got a little carried away with Christmas tablesettings this year so I decided instead of posting Christmas #tablesettingtuesdays until March, I'd do a post with ideas for you to take to decorate your table.  I did some fancy, some casual, some with just normal white kitchen plates and some with fancy fun stuff that I've collected.  My hope is that you can draw inspiration from them to create an amazing Christmas table to host your family and friends this year.

I think a lot of times being "pinterest-y" and going all out on a tablescape, decoration, dessert, meal- whatever it is, gets a bad reputation.  For me, it isn't about impressing people or having people think I'm the most amazing at decorating a table but its about creating a space for memories to be made.  It's about creating a thoughtful table that brings joy and starts conversations.  My word for 2018 is "bless" and I've talked a bit about it before (and may dive into it more later) but my goal is to bless people through hospitality and make them feel comfortable and thought-of when they sit down at my table.  One of my favorite quotes by Jen Wilkin that I keep in mind when inviting people into my home is : 

"Entertaining Seeks to impress. Hospitality seeks to bless"

So I encourage you to be thoughtful about your table this year.  Have fun with it, use it as a way to bless your friends and family.  Below are some fun ideas  in different levels of formality.  Feel free to reach out to me if you have questions or want to know what to pair with your grandmother's china to make it look festive.  Merry Christmas!  


1) Formal Gold and Green

I'm completely obsessed with this one from a collaboration between Kate Shungu and Liz at EJD Design.  I love the layers of textures and colors, the personalization of the placemat (by EJD Design) and the Bible verse reminding guests what we're celebrating. 

To create the centerpiece I cut sprigs of evergreen (from Fred, our Christmas tree), bunched them together and wrapped them with tape to keep them together. If you're having more than 6 people to dinner, I'd suggest making a couple arrangements to put down the table.  Add votives if you're eating at night (no candles during the day). Then use your Christmas china (because everyone has Christmas china, right? ;)), fancy glassware and your best silverware.  Add pops of color with the napkin and linen.  The small wreath is from Hobby Lobby- they came in a pack of 6 for $5! Any small ornament would work really well though, just make sure the colors go together.  If you have the Spode Christmas plates, take it in a vintage direction and add ornaments to the plates that look like the ornaments on the Christmas tree. 

christmas tablesetting

2) Classic Magnolia 

I love greenery runners for dinner parties; they're easy to create, cheap and don't make it difficult for people to see each other across the table.  For this tablescape cut enough magnolia to layer down the length of your table (make sure to give it a really good shake before bringing it in the house) and then add various red and orange fruits and vegetables. For the rest of the table just pull out your favorite dishes, silverware and glassware, add some chargers if you have them and you're finished!  If you want to be an over achiever, write name cards on extra magnolia leaves.  

Magnolia christmas tablesetting

 

3) Colonial Williamsburg 

I love anything colonial, especially when it's Christmas themed.  Williamsburg during the holidays is magic and I wish we still lived close so we could make a day trip to see the decorations. 

After my Thanksgiving tablesetting, I dried the blood oranges to use for Christmas decorations and I couldn't think of a better way to use them than in a Williamsburg inspired table. To dry oranges, thinly slice them, pat dry and line them up on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 6 hours in 200 degree oven.  Flip halfway through.  Mine needed to sit for an additional two days to completely dry out so give yourself plenty of time to make them.  When you're ready to set the table, lay evergreen branches down the table, I find it easier to clip smaller sections and layer them rather trying to make large sections fit the table.  I wanted the table to have lots of layers so I used magnolia placemats as well as simple silver chargers and then put the napkin on top of the plate.  I used silver napkin rings under the orange slice to keep the napkin together but you could loosely tie with a ribbon instead.  

colonial christmas tablesetting

4) Casual Green and Black Plaid

All you need for this one are fun, festive placemats (I used these) and a greenery centerpiece.  Use white plates if you have them, but really anything that matches your placemats will be perfect.  Finish with your favorite glassware, napkins and silverware.  You don't even really need a table linen since you have a placemat so you could do this on top of a wooden table to create a more rustic look.  This would be especially cute for a brunch with Christmas-y hot coco mugs in place of the glass.  

Black and Green Plaid Christmas Tablescape

 

5) Fun and Festive

For this one, I used a funky garland I bought at Hobby Lobby, a Christmas dish towel and a jingle bell placemat.  I tied the silverware with a sparkly ribbon to add something fun to the plate, and then added a bright cocktail napkin under the glass.  Again, you can use anything you already have at home, just make sure the colors go together (I based mine off of the colors in my cocktail napkin) but just run with it and use anything that is bright and festive.   

fun and festive Christmas tablesetting

6) Blue and Silver

I had to use the blue and white china (because, duh) so I paired it with my cement chargers I think it makes for a very calm (and kind of modern?) setting.  I used the layered greenery again with tucked silver ornaments into it, simple silverware and glassware.  You could use this base with any plate you'd like though.  Set the table with a white linen, lay out the greenery runner, add silver ornaments, plain glassware, silver chargers and whatever your favorite plate is!

blue and silver christmas tablesetting

Happy tablesetting!  

Floral-Focused Country Club Wedding

Samantha and Mike’s Royal Melbourne wedding was one of the most authentic and heartfelt weddings I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of.  Samantha has great style and is a self-proclaimed perfectionist, so it was no surprise to me that she made all her own signage, hand stamped each place card, and thought of special details to bring to the hotel for photos while getting ready.  

The floral arrangements that Samantha and Mike chose created beautiful backdrops for their day by adding asymmetrical detail to the ceremony chuppah, a lush runner to the head table, and height to the guest tables.  Gold chargers, chairs, and a touch of candlelighting, completed the romantic feel.

For the ceremony, Jewish and Catholic wedding traditions were woven together perfectly by a rabbi and priest duo.  It was so unique and one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen.   Most impressively, the chuppah stayed in place during 35 mph gusts of wind (!) while they signed the Ketubah, exchanged vows, heard readings from the bible, and broke the glass - making for the coolest picture, I must add.  Even the couple’s dog, Parker, was a part of the ceremony acting as the ring bearer.

From the first look with Samantha’s dad, to the sweet moments before they walked down the aisle, to the [happy] tear-filled toast, their father/daughter bond was undeniable.  (I’m literally tearing up as I’m writing this.)  

After fabulous toasts, father/daughter and mother/son dances, a delicious plated dinner and the cake cutting, guests were invited onto the dance floor with the hora and the party really began!

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Classic Chicago Wedding_Haviland Events
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Classic Chicago Wedding_Haviland Events
Classic Chicago Wedding_Haviland Events
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Classic Chicago Wedding_Haviland Events
Classic Chicago Wedding_Haviland Events
Classic Chicago Wedding_Haviland Events
Classic Chicago Wedding_Haviland Events

Like what you see and want to learn more about working with Haviland? I'd love to chat with you!  Click here to inquire or here to learn a bit more about me!

What Not to Skip When Having a [Super] Small Wedding!

Many future brides might think that, as a planner, my business would target big weddings, but that’s not true. For me, wedding planning is about partnering with you to make the first day of your MARRIAGE amazing; to honor you and the love of your life; to join two families together; to celebrate love. So I want to tell you something important: it’s ok to have a small wedding, a courthouse wedding, or any other kind of wedding, if that’s what your and your fiancé want. Yup, I said it.  That may sound strange coming from a wedding planner, but this is your permission to have the tiny wedding you’ve dreamed of, and below are the things I recommend to not skip:    

1. Hire an amazing photographer.  This is the first and most important.  Just because it’s small doesn’t mean you don’t need amazing pictures to cherish forever and pass down to your grandchildren.  Look for a photographer who will allow you to hire per hour and schedule them to be there for the ceremony and to get some photos afterward.  Think about what is important to you in that day and have amazing photos taken of that.

2. Invite only the people you want.  Maybe it’s just the two of you; maybe it’s your immediate families; maybe it’s some friends.  Whatever you decide, make sure you aren’t inviting people just because you feel like you have to.  Invite them because they are a special part of your lives and you love them.  If you get any questions about the wedding, just be open with people and own your decision.  Simply explain you’ve decided to have a very small wedding and leave it at that.  There is no rulebook on who you HAVE to invite to a wedding.  It’s your wedding after all!  

3. Get a really gorgeous bouquet.  There’s something about flowers that just feel bridal.  Your wedding day is a special chance to carry a bouquet, so make sure to budget for it and get the most perfect one you could ever imagine. If a bouquet isn’t your thing then consider a floral crown, or spend extra money getting your hair and makeup done.  The point is: treat yourself and take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  

4. Wear a dress you love.  It doesn’t have to be expensive, brand new, or even white, but choose a dress that YOU feel amazing in and suits your personality.  It’s your day and you want to be comfortable and confident!

5. Do something fun and memorable after the ceremony.  Whether you have a small ceremony at a church, or  a courthouse wedding with just a couple family members, make a reservation somewhere special (for lunch, dinner, or even just dessert) for afterwards to keep the celebration going with your guests.  You may be thinking “the reason I wanted a small wedding was so I didn’t have to buy everyone dinner” and it’s perfectly appropriate to have each guest pay their own bill.  These are your closest family and friends and they will understand.  Just be upfront with everyone in advance so they know what to expect and, I promise you, they will just be excited to be included in your day.  

Photo by Metts Photo

Photo by Metts Photo

Thinking about having an intimate wedding?  I’d love to help and I’m offering a special rate through September 30th for anyone having a wedding fewer than 30 guests.  Shoot me an email (kelley@havilandevents.com) and let’s set up a time to talk about your vision! 

Heritage-filled Wedding at LondonHouse Chicago

Kate and Longe’s wedding this past May incorporated American and Congolese traditions to create an amazing, energetic celebration focused on the couple’s heritage.

Their ceremony at Park Community Church was a true reflection of their love for Christ and their guests, and they even served communion to each person in attendance.  One very special ceremony detail was a vintage handmade tapestry from the Congo which we used as an aisle runner - thanks to Meredith from Canary Lane for helping us find it.  

The couple chose LondonHouse Chicago for their reception, which offered classical architecture, breathtaking views of Chicago (talk about memorable photos), and impeccable service. The team there was so wonderful to work with and I cannot wait for more weddings together.  

For their first dance, Kate and Longe started with “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and then transitioned into the Congolese song “Kema Fumbe” - and everyone from Longe’s family joined them on the dance floor!  How fun is that, ya’ll?!  Everyone then sat down to a wonderful meal with American and Congolese influence weaved throughout, including Congolese beignets that were to die for.  After dinner, the whole bridal party changed into custom-made Congolese attire and reentered to another Congolese song to kick off the dance party!  

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Reception Venue: LondonHouse Chicago
Ceremony: Park Community Church, Near North Campus
Paper Goods: Sweet Love Paperie
Ceremony Runner: Canary Lane
Linens: BBJ Linen
Floral: Flowerville