All Set

AL1_4594Though there’s almost always a big meal on Christmas Day, most people aren’t sitting down for a formal dinner. It’s more about family than about having a perfectly-folded napkin. However, a bare table won’t do either.
“Don’t overdo it,” says Amanda Polatty, owner and planner at Simply Weddings by Amanda. “I like to keep Christmas casual. Don’t get too stuffy about the exact amount of forks and knives.”
To create that easygoing, inviting look, Polatty and the team started with an understated palette. “We thought it would be ideal to create a winter tablescape using traditional Christmas colors without it being too cheesy,” she says. “Use muted tones instead of bright greens or reds. And only use them as accents. Our main color palette was browns and neutrals so it wouldn’t be overbearing.” Include a little shine, too—gold or silver accents always add a festive air.
AL1_4590rDish It Out selected cups that didn’t perfectly match and stuffed the napkins in the glasses, creating a relaxed atmosphere. “The word ‘formal’ usually gets paired with ‘uniformity.’ It brings on this feeling that everything has to be perfect,” Polatty says. “But when you’re trying to create casual, you want things to be a little different.”
Florals, too, can be easier than they appear. Stick to the color palette and don’t overlook greenery—it’s trendy and goes with just about everything. “I chose these flowers because they’re always in season. They’re easier to get and easier to piece together,” says Polatty. “I also like hearty florals. And of course, greenery is around all year. During Christmas, you can amp it up a little with those.”
Polatty recommends, above all, to relax. “It’s very important for people to understand that there’s no right or wrong way to set up a table in their home,” she says. The most meaningful part isn’t what’s on the table, but who’s sitting around it.
undone elegance
“The long green hanging florals, those are amaranthus. And then we have hydrangea which are a favorite across the board,” Polatty says. “All those plates have different pictures on them. The napkins aren’t folded perfectly. We only used elements that are fun.
farm to table
“Our inspiration was a Florida farmhouse winter. We live in Florida, so we didn’t use anything that you couldn’t get here,” says Polatty. “The roses here are coffee break and white O’Hara, which are very common.”
Florals, design, planning & coordination: Simply Weddings by Amanda • simplyweddingsbyamanda.com
Décor, draping & design: Event Decor & More • eventdecoreandmore.us
Dishes & glassware: Dish It Out • dishitoutamelia.com
Tables, chair & linen rentals: • All about Events allabouteventsjax.com
location: Ellie’s Garden • elliesgarden.com