A Nautical Navy Affair

Has anyone else heard of Indian Summer??  I grew up thinking it was a real season the way we honored it.  California is is notorious for really perfect weather in September and October – when it’s cooling off in other states, the weather here gets warmer.  Technically, it’s already fall, but it feels like summer, so we’ve named this season “Indian Summer.”  Totally PC, right?? Who cares… I say, break out the moccasins!
Anyway… my mom’s birthday falls right within “Indian Summer”, which means the days are sunny and the night’s stay relatively warm – the perfect recipe for an outdoor birthday dinner.  The theme??  Nautical Navy.  Yes, I just made that up, but we are going with it.

The Fish Market is this awesome seafood restaurant in my hometown, and while the inside feels very “fish market-y” with a fish counter, and a tank of live crabs, there is an adorable outside patio that sits right on a lagoon.  It really is a gorgeous setting, and the perfect spot for my Mama’s birthday dinner.

Once the reservations were made and the invitations inked, I called the restaurant for the details on the patio.  Are there white linens? What color are the napkins?  About how long do you anticipate the table being for a party of 16?

Once I found out that there were no linens unless requested, napkins were red, and a table for a party that large would be in the ballpark of 16 feet, I went to work putting together inspirations for a lovely birthday tablescape.  Since the napkins were red, color choices for my tablescape were more limited. With the restaurant on the water, a nautical theme was an easy choice.

Queue Pinterest: the Mecca for inspiration (well my Mecca at least).

I gathered up a bunch of online inspiration, and based a lot of my decisions on these pictures:

The priorities were to find a graphic runner in navy, and pair it with white floral arrangements.  I had dabbled with the idea of red florals, but when I ran the idea past my dad, his opinion that it would be too much red with the napkins, and we “didn’t want the table to look like communist China”.  Oh dad… you have a delicate way of putting things…
I found  this great runner from Etsy – it measured 108″ (9 feet) which is apparently the longest length for runners without a custom order.  While it wouldn’t cover the entire table, it was good enough for me, so we went with it.
I also ordered a bunch of small glass votives (candlelight changes EVERYTHING), and several large mason jars for the flower arrangements.
The result??

All in all, I’m really happy with how everything turned out.  
The chevron brought in the graphic piece that would have been missing on such a long table (can you imagine that massive expanse of empty white tablecloth??), the flowers were low enough that everyone could pass food and chat across the table, and the red in the napkins ended up giving everything a fun pop of color.  
Together, it created a really fun feel for a special birthday celebration… and just look at this pretty lady… not a day over 39!

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