Garden parties tend to have a reputation for being slightly pretentious — it’s hard not to picture them being full of delicate china, detailed tablescapes, and unsatisfying finger foods. If you saw Reese Witherspoon’s garden party over the weekend, though, you’d realized that doesn’t have to be the case at all. In fact, as her serene setup proved, the classic outdoor get-together can be exceptionally simple and still look like a perfectly magical soirée.
That was made obvious by the Hello Sunshine founder’s Instagram slideshow, which she shared on Aug. 15 with a series of images depicting a couple of long dining tables set up in her lush backyard. “Last days of summer deserve a garden party with good friends!” she captioned the post. While at first glance, the table did appear painstakingly intricate, a closer inspection (which Witherspoon so graciously captured) revealed that the decor was actually deceptively pared-back.
In fact, there was very little to it at all, save for a few smart details that anyone can recreate. Those, paired with the repetition of the table settings, made for a picture-perfect look that required barely any effort. And though Witherspoon used a pre-created look called “Sea Glass” from the entertaining brand Social Studies (for which she is an investor), you can easily put together a similar tablescape on your own with some simple essentials.
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Elements Of Nature
To merge the decor seamlessly with its surroundings, Witherspoon added elements of nature throughout the tablescapes. Don’t think that meant any over-the-top arrangements, though. Bud vases with greenery, driftwood, and dried florals on the plates were the extent of her additions.
It’s no secret that the key to a good outdoor get-together — garden party or otherwise — is a hefty amount of mood lighting. Witherspoon achieved this through just a couple of simple tools: i.e. loads of votive candles and some strings lights overhead.
With so few elements, Witherspoon’s table decor relied on small details to elevate it. That included swapping out the classic silverware set for something more intentional — in this case, a gold and white set of cutlery that gave the moment a touch of shine and a modern feel.
Witherspoon is all about a monochrome moment, and that apparently applies to her dinner parties as well. Rather than a complicated mismatched situation, the entrepreneur opted for matching baby blue plates and glasses that paired perfectly and gave the table a cohesive appearance.
Even the most casual parties can benefit from some decorative table linens, and Witherspoon is clearly all too aware of this. Again, though, she went for a minimalist approach with her accessories — a patterned table runner and plain white napkins added layers of texture, without creating distracting interest.