As a little girl, I always thought that throwing a dinner party for friends was the epitome of sophistication. I had dreams of presenting guests with a meal cooked entirely from scratch, served in beautiful tableware on the crispest of linen, with flowers picked from the garden scattered along the table in unusual and rustic jugs I'd collected over the years. Now that I'm a fully fledged grown up, I realise that life sometimes gets in the way of such domestic bliss. Having friends over is the lovely experience I always thought it would be, and although sometimes Waitrose will provide some {delicious} short cuts, I've got lovely table wear to help make things look beautiful. Putting together your wedding gift list with The Wedding Shop is the perfect moment to include items that will help you to be great hosts. And given that we've been blessed with several days of glorious sunshine, I thought it would be lovely to focus on the things you'll need for dining al fresco in style.
The Inspiration
When I imagine eating outside, I think of food that's colourful, easy to share and that is often cooked outside too - gourmet BBQs, sharing platters and tapas, washed down with ice cold drinks. So first of all, you'll probably need something to cook on. The Wedding Shop include Weber as one of their listed brands which is great because their range of grills are the best. We have one and the moment there's a sniff of sunshine, my other half is firing it up. It's easy to use, easy to clean and cooks food beautifully. You'll also be needing something to sit on and something to eat at. Living in the UK, I favour something that is resistant to the elements or that will weather beautifully and make sure that I have lots of snuggly blankets to hand for when the sun begins to set and there's a slight chill in the air. One of the best things about having a gift list with The Wedding Shop is that it allows guests to easily contribute to larger items - like garden furniture, helping you to avoid feeling awkward asking for something that's probably a lot more than Aunty Maggie wants to spend on you ;) My personal favourite is this gorgeous golden teak dining set by Gloster Furniture because it's just so classic and wont date.
The Practical Pieces
Once the food is cooking and everyone has somewhere to sit - you'll need some gorgeous crockery and when you've got guests over, large serving dishes are a must have. I always struggle with things to serve food from when I have several people over, so adding some lovely bowls, platters and boards to your wedding list would be really useful. And don't forget serving spoons, like these Perfectly Tossed salad servers by Culinary Concepts. Having enough glasses is also essential, we have two sets of wine glasses at home, a basic range and some really pretty ones from Denby. I'd definitely recommend adding some nice ones to your wedding list, having people round for dinner is a lovely occasion and it's good to make it feel a little bit more fancy with luxe glassware.
The Pretty Pieces
Having people over is an excuse to dress the table beautifully and a table cloth by The White Company is always a good starting point (I love this vintage washed linen one). Generally I think an outdoor table scape needs less fuss than an indoor one, perhaps something to do with being surrounded by plants and trees anyway, and so I'd just add some linen napkins, fresh flowers or foliage in jugs and lots of candles to light as dusk falls. Having some outdoor festoon lights in your garden is always a lovely idea, but if you don't have the space, these pretty lanterns by Nkuku are super pretty.
Your Wedding List
Are you adding anything to your wedding list that will help you to be an amazing alfresco hostess? If you're on the hunt for more gift list inspiration then do visit The Wedding Shop pages on RMW, where you can find all sorts of gorgeous products to help make your married life blissful.
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

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Wedding Gift List: The Wedding Shop
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