My absolute favorite season is starting... and so big surprise, I found a way to celebrate! Summer will always have a special place in my heart, since my childhood in Chicago I always obsessed over those short three months of bliss; no school, good weather, warm evenings, summer camp. It was a season full of fun memories, the icing on the (always ice cream) cake being my August birthday and the excitement everyone else seemed to feel celebrating in the height of the season before school and work resumed. So even though I now live in a city of endless summer, I appreciate the seasons even more and this time of year still remains the best. Fortunately, I will be adding another great moment to celebrate every summer to come as my wedding is coming up very soon! I'm so excited to celebrate with all our friends and family, but even more excited to have yet another reason to cherish the summer each year. So many fun tables to create, is it weird that I am excited about that? 

So in honor of the upcoming season I was inspired by the festivities and beauty of Europe in the summer, Italy in particular and there the theme was born. For the food I had my fiancĂ© whip up dishes from various European countries; a spiralized cucumber and feta salad (Greece), potato au gratin (France), fish-without the chips- (England), cacio e pepe pasta (Italy). My contribution involved less culinary skill and more fun with my sheep cheese (Portugal), chorizo (Spain) and Aperol Spritz, olives and chips (Italy)

I had a lot of fun setting up this table. I was inspired by the abundance of lemons in Italy and after finding this perfect invitation on Paperless Post, the theme was solidified. I bought about three bags of lemons and spread them all over some green leaf garnish I found in the floral department at Whole Foods. I think I am going to buy a reusable fake version, linked below, since I loved the greenery so much and would love  to use it again. I knew I wanted the lemons to serve as place cards too, but instead of inserting paper into the lemon wedge I decided to assign everyone a European country and see if they could guess which one they were and hence, where they were sitting. Spoiler alert, everyone successfully guessed! I printed out mini flags so that I could have the exact six countries I wanted, but there are plenty of mini flags available online. The leftover lemons went towards my floral arrangements and looked really pretty sliced up against the vase. 

For the rest of the table, I used my beautiful mismatched blue and white plates, natural woven placemats and blue and white linen napkins which all naturally did justice for a summer theme. I found a wonderfully summer colored table linen at Tuesday Morning but linked some similar options you can find online. Last but not least I added my tapered white candles and pretty glass holders from the NYE table I created last December and they added the most simple romantic touch. The easiest way to elevate a table is by adding candles and florals, preferably ones varying in color and size. Overall, it was a truly beautiful start to the many future summer evenings ahead. Have a wonderful first weekend of summer everyone, enjoy! 

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