Diner en Blanc | table setting competition


Last night I participated in the table setting competition that was part of the Diner en Blanc preview party hosted by Williams-Sonoma.  I’ve done decorations for several parties and even a few weddings, so I know what my strengths and weaknesses are.  Coming up with ideas and a concept is a strength, but I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no florist.  Want a simple floral arrangement?  Done.  But if you’re looking for something elaborate, I’m not your gal – but I can direct you to someone that can help.

So going into the competition, I was excited but had no idea what to expect.  I knew I was going to be up against florists, caterers, full time event planners and that made me nervous.  Was my table going to look completely amateur in comparison?  I figured if I can’t bring complicated, beautiful centerpieces, I’ll have my own DIY-y aesthetic to offer.  And honestly, in the end, I really did love my table.  Unfortunately, not everyone loved it as much as me since I didn’t win.  Oh well, you can’t win them all right?

The tables were judged on the following criteria:  use of white, execution of theme, use of props, complexity of table setting and originality.  There were thirteen participants and we were each given a 27.5″ x 27.5″ table, two white chairs, white tablecloth and white napkins.  Williams-Sonoma also kindly allowed us to borrow from their inventory – I chose dinner plates, salad plates, silverware and two silver candlesticks.  To me, French style is a mix of classic and modern, vintage and new, well designed yet simple.  As I was coming up with ideas for the table, I kept the combination of those words in the back of my head.  Although we weren’t required to include food in our setting,  I felt like it was important to do and and to do so in a way that it becomes part of the design.


The menus are actually part of the napkins – after creating the menu in Photoshop, I printed it out onto special iron on transfer paper…and ironed it onto napkins!  Aren’t the flowers pretty?  Whole Foods!  My favorite place for flowers.



I think having a large central bouquet of flowers would be pretty, but not really that different or original.  Since a meal is not a meal unless there’s dessert, I decided to make that the focal point of the table.  I thought the texture of the cake was fun (shredded coconut) and topped off with a little banner helped to connect it to what we were celebrating.  By the way, the cake is a fake (it’s styrofoam!).  I can make a pretty delicious coconut cake, but one that’s also pretty…that’s another story.


Do you know how hard it is to make a cheese/charcuterie plate look good?  Believe me, it’s not easy.  This tiny little platter probably took me thirty minutes to lay out.



What do you guys think?  Thoughts?  Check out my competition…









And now the winners!  As soon as I saw this one, I just assumed it would win (the official judges chose them as best).  Before even meeting the designers, I knew they were florists.  It’s pretty obvious…



My favorite part was their basket.  Adorable.


People’s choice went to this tble…



Love the gold leafed mini cakes!  So cute!


I might not have won, but I had a lot of fun doing it.  There was great food and drinks and I had the chance to meet some really nice people.  Also, it always feels great to have complete strangers tell you how much they like your work!



  1. I thought your table was brilliant! I did table #9. I, too, am not a pro but I thought it would be fun to try. All of the tables were terrific. Loved your napkin menus and the white radish; the bread with the wax paper and string was a lovely detail!

  2. Pingback: Diner en Blanc, table setting competition, centerpiece flowers, table decor | Leigh Florist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s