Most parts of the world have emerged from the icy grips of winter and are now enjoying the new beginnings that come with spring. Spring brings renewed feelings of joy and optimism, observed in the fresh seasonal florals and the warmth of the sun’s rays on our skin. As we approach summer, we are eager to be spending time outdoors again — what this means for us as event planners is an abundance of decorative opportunities, flowers coming into bloom, and vibrant colors popping back into our lives. If you’re planning an outdoor event, consider our approach when it comes to setting a spring or summer tablescape that incorporates bold and interactive elements that will inspire your guests.

Start by Spring Cleaning Your Interior Décor

With the arrival of the outdoor entertaining season comes the opportunity to refresh your home’s décor. Take this as your cue to re-think how you decorate with ideas that highlight the stunning transition from spring into summer events.

2022’s spring and summer color trends may be a good starting point when planning your tablescape or when looking for ideas. Soft lilacs contrasted with canary yellows will create a serene setting for a baby shower or ladies' brunch in the garden; a hot pink palette paired with salted caramels makes for a punchy backdrop to a festive celebration, and bold scarlets mingling with subtle sky blues will set the scene for a certain European sensibility at Sunday lunch. Clear your mind of any preconceived notions about what spring and summer ‘look like’ and embrace change — it’s time to breathe new life into your décor. And when in doubt, remember that blue and white is always right!

Try the Farmhouse Chic Approach

There’s something about the farmhouse chic trend that feels synonymous with spring and summer to us. For your summer tablescape, incorporate woven placemats or chargers for an organic, natural look and feel. Pair these rustic elements with elevated ones, like your favorite crystal glasses, upscale furniture, and a striking centerpiece. As with anything in life, it’s important that your decorative elements are kept in balance so that no single aspect overpowers the other. Plus, we believe mixing design eras or references makes an event feel truly custom.

If you’re opting for a wooden table, we recommend keeping it bare aside from a table runner down the middle; consider a gauzy neutral color fabric or linen in any of the colors we listed above (depending on your chosen palette). The bare wood adds texture to the ensemble and provides a great foundation that is easy to decorate with accompanying bright colors. Place gingham napkins in between the plate and charger for a polished farmhouse look and to incorporate some pattern.

We love the farmhouse chic approach when provided the opportunity — the style evokes feelings of warmth and comfort, akin to the feelings of a season known for gatherings that linger from golden hour to well past sunset.

Carefully Considered Micro Details

Just as Mother Nature considers the timing of blossomy spectacles — details of natural phenomena that will always leave us in awe — so should you with even the most minor details on your spring and summer tablescape. Consider matching the dinner napkins to the taper candles for subtle color coordination and layer in botanical place cards tied onto a summer branch for an added personal touch that will enhance your table’s entire impact. When it comes to serving pieces, don’t shy away from experimenting with the color or pattern to amplify the playfulness that comes with the season, and leverage natural lighting — consider an al fresco approach and tie in details with the surrounding environment.

If there’s a chance to incorporate vintage items into your décor, your spring and summer tablescape is it. Utilizing assorted collections of tableware conveys an effortless approach to entertaining that complements the spirit of summer’s easy-breezy reputation. Bring the outdoors to your table with stoneware urns filled with long branches of herbs or fruit for a pop of color.

Each season comes with its own palette, distinguishing natural elements, and associated styling ideas that all elicit different sets of feelings. Spring and summer, including the transitioning phase from one to the other, bring nothing but delight and your tablescapes have every opportunity to set the scene for memorable occasions. If you’re looking to achieve a spring or summer-inspired event, Cassie LaMere Events is your partner in planning. We’ve successfully been bringing event visions to life regardless of the size or occasion, with an impressive portfolio to match. For your upcoming event, get in touch.

As purveyors of all things fabulous, we feel we have a responsibility to always be on the lookout for trends, whether in the form of new fashion finds or unique tablescape ideas. Trends, of whichever variety, can form the basis of new inspiration for our specific niche of luxury event planning, and we love being given the opportunity to get creative with incorporating modern style movements into our client work. The gingham trend is one we’ve spotted as an up-and-coming aspect of fashion, events, and interior decor — quite fitting, actually, as it makes a timeless summer classic. Keep reading to see our favorite recent discoveries and why we’re going ‘ham’ for gingham.

The “Picnic Blanket Chic” Trend We Never Knew We Needed

If you know what a conventional red-and-white-checked picnic blanket looks like, you are already close to acquainting yourself with the gingham style and pattern. Originally, gingham comes from the Malayan word genggang, which translates as “striped” but, since this is a fabric with a 500-year-old history, its meaning has evolved. Gingham, now known as contrasting checks, is actually distinguished primarily for being a “dyed in the yarn” fabric, meaning the yarn is dyed before it is woven. We are thankful that the gingham trend has risen in popularity, giving us visualists so much to play with!

A 2021 report captured the essence of gingham in the most perfect way for us: “youthful optimism and nostalgia at the same time.” Is this not also an idyllic way to describe the feelings that come with summer? This year, the gingham trend is going beyond the picnic blanket and offering the hit of dopamine we all need in the form of vibrant fashion pieces, chic event ensembles, and nostalgic interior decor inspiration.

Left: LouLou Baker | Right: BBJ La Tavola Specialty Linen

Gingham Trends in Fashion, Events, and Interior Decor

When it comes to gingham, the visual opportunities are endless. In the world of fashion, it’s the striking effect of black-and-white checks on a midi skirt or cardigan paired with a bright neck scarf that makes strutting the streets in summer that much more enjoyable. In interior decor spaces, it’s the vintage-looking lamp bases that are the perfect mix of town and country. And in our favorite arena of all, it’s the subtle ruffled gingham tablecloth or decorative seat cushion paired with bold florals that strip an event of any unnecessary seriousness and replace it with an aura of lightness and playfulness.

Left: Over the Moon | Right: Harvey Nichols

A Spotlight on Gingham Products and Brands We’re Loving

Despite being considered a ‘graphic’ print, there are ways for gingham to be an ultra-fine addition to any outfit ensemble. Something like the Imogen dress from Over the Moon, flaunting stunning silk bows and sequins, paired with a sleek updo and statement earrings is far from what you would wear to a picnic on the lawns. Rather, it’s a flirty, yet elegant take on the gingham trend that’s suitable for the upcoming celebration season.

Gingham lends itself perfectly when looking to elevate a seemingly rustic interior. We had to stop scrolling on Instagram when we spotted one of Hotel Lulu’s rooms adorned almost ceiling-to-floor with gingham curtains and fabric. The distinctive pattern does not cause us to feel distracted but instead hypnotized in the very best way. Petite checks on the curtains paired with bolder ones on the hotel bed’s headboard, complemented by classic white linen and vintage decorative pieces, make this the perfect example of gingham done right.

And speaking finally to events where we bring our love of fashion and interior design together, gingham in event decoration and tablescapes adds an element of whimsy without being kitsch — to us, it checks all the boxes. Something like this baby blue, ruffled-edge gingham table cloth from the Born on Fifth for Antonio Melani collection is a serene backdrop to a lady's lunch or baby shower. Whether a traditional or contemporary event, gingham is a versatile print with an endless array of gorgeous outcomes.

Left: Hotel Lulu | Middle: Mark D. Sikes | Right: Condé Nast

Our Final Thoughts

Feeling inspired? We understand that one may not know where to begin with mixing colors and pattern play. Thankfully, our team is well-versed in taking a holistic approach to events that incorporates your vision. It’s all about balance — consider us the scales you need in ensuring your event has everything you want it to flaunt. Get in touch with our team and allow us to check-off your entertaining to do list by being a part of your event from start to finish.

This Season, Consider Planning Ahead for Holiday Events – You’ll Be Glad You Did

Guest Post By Claire Kelly

Photo Courtesy Of Cassie LaMere Events

Christmas came in June this year for my mother and me as we strolled through Dallas’ colossal Market Hall Center, literally rubbing elbows with the crowds of buyers, designers, and tastemakers making the twice-yearly pilgrimage to the Big D to scope the latest luxury products and assess trends.

Always a fun and inspiring trip, this year’s jaunt had us noticing a tendency within ourselves that seemed to also apply more broadly. We were consistently drawn to vendors showcasing holiday items – glittering showrooms decked with colorful displays of holiday-themed dinnerware, linens, wreaths and garlands, tree ornaments, and countless other types of regalia – and we weren’t alone. These shops were noticeably more crowded than ones with less season-specific offerings.

One reason for this trend seems obvious: our preoccupation with all things holiday could be owed, at least in part, to the global requirement of this past year to simplify – to trim the guest list rather than the tree. Whatever the reason, the message ringing through the halls in Dallas was clear: the 2021 holiday season is sure to be one to remember. Going all-out is definitely in.

And while this tone shift brings with it a welcome dose of optimism, it's easy for even the most seasoned event planner or host to become overwhelmed by the thought of the highly anticipated return of holiday entertaining after a long hiatus from the social status quo.

With this season getting us *cautiously* excited about the possibility of no holds barred soirées, we want to make sure you're prepared for an especially elegant - and extroverted - time. To that end, here are a few tips to help you make the most of the weeks and months ahead so that when November and December do arrive, you can relax and cherish meaningful moments with family and friends. After all, that's what the holiday season is all about.

Solidify your venue plans

If your event – be it a corporate Christmas party, family holiday gathering, annual holiday dinner, or other festivity – requires a venue that you must reserve, make sure those plans are locked in now. With countless would-have-been 2020 events taking place in the second half of this year, venue space continues to be extremely limited.

Understanding this reality will not only help you whittle down your list of potential venues, but also encourage you to consider lesser-known or outside-the-box spaces – places that are likely to have a lot to offer in terms of uniqueness and bang-for-the-buck but may not have been top picks initially. If you do have your heart set on a certain location, see if the venue includes multiple spaces and inquire about reserving a different area within the same setting (a hotel’s rooftop bar rather than its ballroom, for example).

Hop on the micro-event bandwagon...or don’t

2020 reminded us that intimate gatherings can be just as stylish as more grandiose affairs, which means the sky’s the limit in planning right now. The micro-event trend is still in full swing as people realize that small-scale events come with a lot of perks, but large-scale celebrations are also having a moment.

The thing to remember then is to socialize in whatever way is best for you. If you’re excited by the prospect of an ultra-lavish affair, embrace that. Or, if you prefer something smaller, blow your closest family and friends away by prioritizing quality over quantity- you’ll be able to spend twice as much per guest by cutting your list in half. So, whether you’re throwing a petit fête, or the event of the decade, do it up in (your own) style.

Embrace alternatives

If the past year has taught us anything, it’s the value of being flexible and not sweating the small stuff. Successful event planning is as much about creativity as it is about logistics, so avoid the temptation to try to make festivities look exactly like they did before 2020 and think about ways to incorporate new traditions.

Restaurants booked up every weekend in December? Why not host a company Christmas party brunch or happy hour on a weekday rather than a Saturday night dinner? Agonizing over not being able to order your Thanksgiving meal from the catering company you’ve used for years? Consider trying a completely new food genre rather than attempting to recreate the same menu through another service.

Focusing on creating a warm, gracious setting – instead of focusing on what didn’t work out – will ensure that friends, family, or whoever you’re hosting walks away having had a truly meaningful – and fun – experience.

Think about gift-giving now

Selecting truly unique, thoughtful gifts – especially for people beyond your circle of closest friends and family - can be one of the most daunting aspects of holiday prep, which is why getting shopping done well before the holiday season kicks off can reduce stress significantly and leave you freer to actually enjoy the rounds of events on the horizon. But how does one get inspired to shop without the festive atmosphere of retail holiday hustle and bustle?

If you're responsible for finding gifts for multiple employees, colleagues, or clients, it can be helpful to remember that many vendors now offer bespoke, personalized gift options online. Many companies - including Cassie LaMere Events - design, source, and execute custom gifts, curated gift boxes, or experiential deliveries for those looking to send specialized gifts.

Opting for services like these not only frees up your to-do list, but ensures that your gifts are creative and something recipients will actually want to use. They can even promote shopping local, as specialty gifting companies often make a point of collaborating with makers, artisans, or boutiques to create gifts that are highly customized or original. Avoid last-minute gifting blunders that don't make an impact; it's obvious to the recipient who took the time to select a thoughtful gift and those who grabbed something expected due to time constraints.

So know that you’re not alone – there are plenty of creative, convenient options for expressing appreciation for the people in your life. Just be sure to put your orders in extra early this year, as shipping delays are impacting the availability of goods worldwide.

Pro tip: Don’t forget the host! Keep a stash of simple-yet-stylish goodies on-hand so you have hostess gifts ready to go for last-minute events and invites. You can build your stash by looking at everyday outings as opportunities for inspiration; finally trying that trendy new restaurant? Remember the foodies in your life and see about picking up a run of gift cards. Headed out-of-town? Jaunts to new destinations are perfect opportunities to pick up smaller presents or unique stocking stuffers.

Identify your priorities ahead of time...and stick to them

Perhaps the most significant lesson 2020 gave us is the value of slowing down and truly cherishing the moment. But remembering this wisdom amid the holiday whirlwind is challenging to say the least, which is why it’s crucial to take some time to reflect on your own social priorities – whether you’re a host or a guest – well before the invitations start rolling in.

Consider saying “yes” to fewer invites this season so that you have mental and emotional energy for the gatherings that are most important. Leaving space in your calendar for restorative downtime helps ensure that when you do go to a social event, you can do so with an authentic, gracious attitude. And remember, there’s no urgency to “make up for lost time” – 2021 is just one of many festive years to come.