How to Style an Outdoor Dining Table

Get ideas for setting an elegant tablescape for your next alfresco dinner party or backyard barbecue.

Photo By: Jamie Rector

Photo By: Jamie Rector

Photo By: Jamie Rector

Photo By: Jamie Rector

Photo By: Jamie Rector

Photo By: Jamie Rector

Photo By: Jamie Rector

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: Jamie Rector

©Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Candlelight Dining

 A plain picnic table can be made sophisticated with the use of a mostly white monchromatic palette, crystal stemware and lots of candles to make it all sparkle. 

Watch It Doesn't Get Mistaken For a Birthday Cake

All kids (and some adults) feel compelled to blow out candles. So if little ones are around, keep watchful eye that they don't grab as well. 

Autumn Colors

 Use what's in season to help decorate your table. A galvanized bucket of crimson apples brings a little bling and some vibrant color. 

Use Nature, It's Budget Friendly

If you're dining alfresco, you should decorate alfresco. Rocks, moss and greenry give off a soothing vibe and best of all, it probably won't cost you a penny.


If running electric to your outdoor is not space is not an option, hang a "candlelier". It'll add a touch of romance and sophistication. 

Tea For Two

Even if your party is small, make the setting chic with the addition of bold color and elegant dishware.

Plum Purple

A vivid color palette will help your table setting glow throughout the evening. 

Western Barbecue

Casual can be classy, and this downhome setting is a perfect example.  Instead of borrowing or renting extra chairs, buy a couple of hay bales and cover them with table runners or small rugs.  After the party, use the hay bales for autumn decoration or to cover newly planted grass seed. See more of this party setting

Lucky Placecards

For the Western barbecue, horseshoes were used to let guests know where to sit.  For the centerpieces, bags were filled with fresh fruit and wrapped in a simple piece of raffia. 

Bottle Vases

For a casual yet sweet look, fill pretty bottles with backyard flowers and line them up on a burlap runner.

Citrus Centerpieces

Lemons, limes and oranges are easy way to add color to tablescape. Grapes also look good and give guests something to nibble on.

Beach Themed

For a coastal vibe, use a blue and white color palette accent with natural fibers like jute, burlap and hemp. Add shells, succulents and driftwood to provide the beach and dunes feel. See more of this party