Before we get into today’s post, I first want to address Hurricane Harvey. I lived in Texas for about 6 years and have so much love for the state. My thoughts and prayers are with my friends in Houston and southeast Texas. The extent of the damage is devastating and the communities need our assistance. If you’re able to donate, this NBC News article lists several organizations to help the storm victims. I donated to the Texas Diaper Bank, which provides relief kits to babies, children, the elderly and the disabled. If you have any disaster relief charities close to your heart, please let me and others know in the comments or by sending me an email. Thank you.

Summer floral arrangement

Wedding garland

Kenton Youngstrom guitarist

Edwin Portillo florals

Aperol Spritzer

Marmalade Cafe

Summer florals


Al fresco dinner party

For Love and Lemons lemon jumpsuit

Italian summer dinner party

Unique tablescape ideas

Wedding menu design

Calligraphy ideas

Italian dinner party

Wedding party favors

A few weekends ago, I organized an alfresco Italian dinner party for 40 guests in Pacific Palisades. The hosts had just returned from a bike trip throughout Italy and wanted to treat their friends to their favorite place- Piedmont, Italy!

Guests were greeted with Prosecco and Aperol Spritzers and made their way onto the patio. A guitarist set the mood and Marmalade Café passed around the yummiest hors d’Oeuvres—assorted pizza bites, merlot meatballs (still dreaming about those), olive tapenade and goat cheese on crostini and prosciutto and melon skewers. We also had a stationary cheese and charcuterie platter and an olives, bread and olive oil bar.

There were several gorgeous arrangements from Edwin Portillo throughout the patio. Edwin does all the flowers at The Bel Air Bay Club and his work is just incredible. He created several different arrangements with yellow roses, peach dahlias, olive leaves and greenery. I’m also obsessed with the garland Edwin made for the bar.

Guests moved to the lawn where we had long tables set up for a family style Italian dinner. I loved so many parts of this event, but the tablescape was my baby. Lemons were a signature piece of the entire event, so we incorporated them into the tablescape with the lemon garlands and lemon plates. Obviously I had to match my outfit to the tablescape too, lol! I’m also really into the blue water glasses we used for a fun pop of color. Aren’t the chairs great too? I’ve been seeing them at so many weddings— they are definitely the chairs of the season! All of our rentals were from Town & Country. They’re always my go-to. Jacaranda Co. completed the table with her gorgeous calligraphy. Leslie, the gal behind Jacaranda Co., did such a great job with the place cards, menus and thank you tags on the party favors. Guests dined under twinkly lights and we also lined the pool with candles. V. romantic!

Marmalade Café absolutely nailed dinner. First, we passed caprese salad and focaccia bread. Then guests enjoyed tagliata, grilled branzino, black truffle pasta and oak grilled vegetables. We also had a gluten-free pasta option because #LosAngeles. For dessert, guests had a choice of lemon sorbet served in carved out lemons (!!!) and chocolate gelato. We also had shortbread cookies with a homemade Nutella-like spread and Ferrero Rocher chocolates. Guests sipped on Limoncello or decaf coffee and tea.

To end the evening, everyone left with mini olive oil bottles adorned with Grazie tags.

If you have a special event coming up, Brooke du jour Events is there for you! Spoiler alert: We’re a lot of fun ; )


Event design and styling: Brooke du jour Events

Invitations: Paperless Post

Catering: Marmalade Cafe

Entertainment: Kenton Youngstrom

Flowers: Edwin Portillo (email me for his contact info!)

Rentals: Town and Country

Calligraphy: Jacaranda Co.

Party Favors: The Greek Pantry

My outfit: For Love & Lemons jumpsuit

Tori Aston Photography

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