As many of you know, I’m getting married this Saturday! My engagement has been such a wonderful time, and I’ve actually really enjoyed the planning process!! From flowers to drinks to dancing, it’s been a joy to identify our aesthetic and incorporate it into every detail. As I was finalizing plans, I realized I wanted our rehearsal dinner to look a little different from the wedding itself. Searching for inspiration, I turned to San Francisco style authorities Monelle Totah and Gary McNatton- the duo behind Hudson-Grace, an incredible home and entertaining store. They created a beautiful tablescape to help inspire me- sharing their styling and entertaining tips along the way. Read on to learn how to create your perfect party:

What was your inspiration for the table?
Weddings are known for the formality and ritual. We were inspired by the elegance and informality of this table. Before the big day arrives it’s customary to have a rehearsal dinner to enjoy the company of the wedding party, out of town guests, friends and family. It’s a time to cherish the people that have impacted the couple’s lives. There is nothing more inviting than a set table – candles burning, beautiful music.

Adding height brings drama to the table; our over-sized hand-blown artisinal champagne glasses are the perfect glass to toast the special evening.

How did you select the color palette? I love the orange and blue!
We wanted to embrace the colors that are seasonal, yet fun! The beauty of washed linens is that they are formal but add a casual touch, bringing a comfortable feeling to the table. Traditional white linens were what we first gravitated towards but we wanted to add a pop of color.

And while we love napkin rings, we decided on a simple knot; a more symbolic approach. Adding a candlelit backdrop and keeping the flowers to a minimum make for a clean and elegant setting.

What a meaningful touch! Any guiding principles you always follow when creating a tablescape?
We definitely have a few principles to guide us to a fabulous, inviting tabletop:

1. It’s ok to mix and match. Placing antique and formal glassware with clean modern dinnerware makes for a unique table. Also, we highly recommend mixing glass and ceramic serving platters that will bring depth to the tablescape.

2. Cake stands aren’t just for desert. Using them as height on the table makes passing and serving easy and brings that element of drama.

3. Height adds drama; these over-sized hand-blown champagne glasses are the perfect glass toast this special evening.

4. Lastly, an abundance of food and drinks will make any dinner party a huge success!

What sets Hudson Grace tableware apart from the rest?
The mood and the style of the table is all about creativity, confidence, comfort, which turns any dinner into a party. Our color palette – there is nothing more pure than a clean white plate.  We love our bowls, plates and over-sized platters that are white and bring bold impact to a table. They showcase your food off beautifully, and allow you to be creative with color when choosing your glassware and table linens.

Top 5 Tips for Creating a functional yet beautiful table setting?
While we listed a few of our key principles above, we do a have more tips to create the perfect ambiance when hosting a party.

1. We both enjoy entertaining and feel that planning out the menu is important – start planning in advance.

2. Setting a lovely welcome table sets the mood for your guests.

3. Overhead lighting can be harsh. Dim the lights and light lots of candles for the perfect setting.

4. Create a signature cocktail for the evening – it’s always fun to share a new creation with guests.

5. Please don’t forget music, playing in the background – its the “soundtrack” of the evening… it is a must for a great party.

That sounds like a recipe for an exceptional celebration! Thank you both so much for all of your help and inspiration- I’m confident our rehearsal dinner will be the perfect preface to the weekend’s festivities.