A Night Safari Dinner Party
Safari Dinner Party
Why not plan a dinner party around a safari theme? I had been to a wedding shower in an event space at a zoo and they did not tie the theme to the zoo at all, despite the fact that we could view the elephants from our location. I thought how fun it would have been if they had themed the shower as “Suzy is wild about Bob”. The following year I was asked to plan a thank you event for clients of my husband. I immediately thought of “we are wild about our clients”. Unfortunately that event never came to fruition. Finally the time came when I was planning to host a dinner party for some special friends and I really wanted to do something out of the ordinary. I don’t really have enough room at my inside dining table for six, so this would be a dinner party out on the lanai. I decided to set the whole party around a safari theme and spend our entire evening outdoors. This would be a great place for a few friends to relax together and enjoy the company and the food. To get inspired I took a trek around Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. Disney, of course did such an incredible job not just building, but creating what appears to be a little bit of Africa and Asia right out of the swampy lands of Florida.
I had a basic space that served us well, but I wanted to give it the feeling of one of the exotic African safari resorts you see where guests fall asleep to the sounds of the animals in the jungle. I looked around my house and began to find elements that I could move outside to give the space more of a feeling of an indoor dining room. I brought out this bookshelf (yes, I had to hide all the books in a closet for the evening) and began dressing it with appropriate knick knacks. I arranged this in the corner by the seating area. This is where we would gather for drinks and appetizers.
At the other end of the lanai I brought out this piece of furniture we use as a bar and created this large, showy arrangement to be a focal point. I mixed in a few artificial leaves and flowers I had on hand with ferns and palmettos cut in the wilds of Florida and added some of the feathers I have used in Fall arrangements. I picked up the elephant painting from World Market and hung it on the wall with Command Strips for outdoor use between my piece of furniture and my outdoor lamp which I elevated on a outdoor end table. Hanging a piece of art really made the outdoors seem like a room within my home. A piece of a palmetto was also stuck up on the wall with outdoor Command Strips for a little more interest. For the table centerpiece I used these four black and leopard placemats which I laid out on the table like a runner. I placed river rocks down the center as if they were a river flowing down the table. Next, I took five variegated Liriope plants, tied Spanish moss around the pots with raffia and sat them down the center of my table. I additionally dressed them up with bamboo. Next I nestled some stately giraffes, an elephant and zebra wooden animals and finished with lots of votive candles. My table setting was easy to put together with these plates I found at Home Goods. I saw these and thought they looked very much like the pattern of giraffe fur. I used chargers which were a nice burlap texture. The green textured glasses also came from Home Goods. Black napkins were an easy choice, but I kind of skimped on my napkin rings, using a paper towel tube cut into pieces and covered with animal print duct tape. When dusk set in, the whole feeling I wanted really enveloped us all as we settled in at the dinner table by candlelight. I have shared the incredibly easy, yet very delicious Chicken Curry and Rice dish I prepared for my guests this evening. Click on that link for the recipe.
You are so good at this Chloe. In each table and party you create the feeling comes through loud and clear. Kudos to you!
Sandra, Thank you so much for your compliments. I have been hosting parties like this forever and am so glad I discovered blogging and the opportunity to share my ideas!
I absolutely love the safari decor in your photos. My living room use to be decorated in a safari theme and I really miss it… I wish I never changed it! lol Thank you for linking up with us on the Oh My Heartsie Girls Wordless Wednesday Link Party!
Wishing you an amazing week!
Thanks Lysa. I have had a British Colonial theme in the past which gave me lots of pillows and other figurines to use!
Your tablescape is wonderful, I especially like it after dark, it takes on a whole different feeling!!!
Thanks for sharing on the Oh My Heartsie Girl WW this week!!!
Thanks Karren, You are so right, it truly was beautiful after dark!
You have seriously thought of everything! I love all your sophisticated safari details!
Thanks so much Christine! I have wanted to do this for so long, I had a lot of time to think about the details!
You are so talented! How creative and adorable! Thanks for linking up at OMHG WW this week!
Thank you Alyssa! I will try and stop by again soon!
I love the safari theme for a dinner party! The table runner out of place mats looks great.
Thank you Valerie! At first I was disappointed I didn’t have 6 of the placemats to use, but I think it turned out better using them for a runner, too!
This is fantastic! I would love to go to a party like this and maybe I will host one someday! I love how you found a lot of it at your own house. Thanks for sharing this on Oh My Heartsie Girl Link Up.
I want to be invited to a party like this too, but I have to say, I loved hosting it! I am still holding out for hosting a “Bride is WILD about Groom” bridal shower at the zoo!
Wow! I hope your guests appreciated all of your efforts and the details that went into your party. Your floral arrangement is stunning. Did you used to be a florist? I’m in love with those plates. I have to stay out of HomeGoods because I always find something I want.
Dawn, My guests enjoyed it all! Yes, my secret is out, my husband owned a flower shop when I married him and I went to work with him! I haven’t done it professional for years (and years)! Yes, Home Goods can be dangerous!
I love those plates! They are so cute! Thank you for linking up to Party Time and we hope to see you again next week!
Such a cute party I love all the attention to detail, so many cute decorations. Thanks for sharing at On Display Thursday. Join us again Thursday morning.
Wonderful! Love seeing animal print done is a fresh, new way. Gorgeous table!
Chloe, I’m a new admirer of your safari setting. Kudos!!! Love it! I have been searching and searching for inspiration to do a safari setting, comfy and cozy in a home and not in a themed wedding space. “Your entire atmosphere is right on” I know yours was for a dinner party but it does not look “planned,” it gives the feeling of everyday living. I love this. Hope you don’t mind but I’ll have to adopt your ideas with credit to you of course. Thanks for sharing.
Linda, I am so honored by your kind compliments. I appreciate that you want to adopt my ideas into your own party! Have fun and make sure you share the pictures with me! Hugs! Chloe
How fun to have this special table setting and theme. It is very exotic looking and you did a lovely job.
Thanks for sharing and linking.
Thank you Bernideen, it was a really special dinner and evening!
Hi I really love this decor I’m looking for similar plates where can I get the same or similar plates thanks
Thanks for stopping b y Chanel. I have had these for several years. I think I bought them at Home Goods, but I could be wrong about that. Good luck for your search!
I’m hearing jungle drums as I write. Chloe, WOW I really felt in the jungle. Just beautiful and so creative. You thought of everything.
What fun Chloe! You really went all out and really created a safari feeling experience! Love the focal point arrangement, beautiful! I know you’re guests were completely charmed, and that you all had a wonderful time!
Wow, Chloe, your creativity never ceases to amaze me. The entire scene looks authentically safari-like. The details are crazy good, and relatively simple as you described them. I’d feel pretty special if that atmosphere had been created for a dinner party for me!
Chloe, I have always loved safari themes. Who wouldn’t love to have dinner at this beautiful and well execute tabletop?!!
Usually I am always appreciating the talent that goes into executing a beautiful tablescape. However, this time I was taken mostly by the decor. The details that went into turning the place into an indoor/outdoor exotic setting. I particularly loved the evening pictures. When I saw the final product all I could think up was: ” At what time is dinner.” I know that your guests must have gain an enjoyable experience. It was a fantastic job .
Thank you so much Edmee! It was a lovely evening with friends. My favorite thing is setting a theme for my dinner parties and this one was particularly fun!