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Pop-up Dinner Party Season

Pop-up dinner party season is here! Its my favorite time of the year. A pop-up dinner party is where we go to a really amazing public park or space and set up a fancy dinner party in the middle of nowhere. There are a certain number of minor obstacles you have to plan for like: lighting, keeping the food hot or cold, and then just the logistics of moving tables, chairs, plates to your spot. But even with the tricky logistics it is so worth it. They are super fun and it’s the easiest way to make a super-memorable evening. I have a few different ideas for the ones I’m going to throw this summer. I’ll be sure and share photos when we do them! Here are some photos of some that I’ve thrown in the past.

This dinner party under the Golden Gate Bridge was one of my favorites. The weather was beautiful. You can read the original post here and notes on how to do it right here.

Pop-up Dinner Party Season | Oh Happy Day!

One of my good friends Fergi was in town so we threw her a party for her birthday on a public pier in Sausalito, here is the original post. We had sweeping views of the city and the bridge. The weather was cold that night but it was still pretty fun.

Pop-up Dinner Party Season | Oh Happy Day!

We used to live downtown and we had the best roof so we had a dinner party on the roof for my friend Jared’s birthday. We even got an industrial bubble machine off in the corner so pretty bubbles were floating around us.

Pop-up Dinner Party Season | Oh Happy Day!

This party on the pier was the first we ever did. It was for my friend Emily’s birthday. We didn’t tell the guests where it was until the last minute (here are the invitations),  just telling them to dress warm. So when they showed up it was a total surprise. We had views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate bridge. The weather was really gorgeous that night, we got really really lucky.

Pop-up Dinner Party Season | Oh Happy Day!

Would you ever throw a pop-up dinner party? Even if you didn’t live in a city it would be cool to do it in the middle of the desert or a giant corn field or on top of a lookout point. Where would you do it?

  1. Evani

    July 23, 2012

    What a beautiful idea Jordan! Love the photos!

  2. Bonnie

    July 23, 2012

    Oh…thank you for the reminder! I wanted to put together a plan for one of these and surprise a few friends. How do you do the lights? I love them…

  3. Erica { }

    July 23, 2012

    What a wonderful idea!

  4. Janae @ Bring-Joy

    July 23, 2012

    I would do a pop-up dinner party near a grape vineyard. I currently live in wine-making country & we have grape vineyards everywhere. In the fall, the smell of grapes, the crisp fall air, would be a perfect setting for a dinner party.

  5. Brannon / Happy Cactus Designs

    July 23, 2012

    Love love love this idea! Would be so fun to throw/attend. I love how you’ve strung the lights above the table.

  6. Tan

    July 23, 2012

    This is incredible! I just love this idea! If only I wasn’t so busy planning the wedding I would certainly plan one of these! It’ll have to wait until next year.
    I would either throw one on the beach or in the city park. Or! Ohh…there’s a mountain with a cement pad on it for roller hockey. That would be a beautiful spot.
    Oh Jordan you’re giving me quite the urge to take on more planning than I can handle right now!

  7. Annie

    July 23, 2012

    These sound like so much fun! Roofs and bridges are both great ideas. Also, I was wondering where you got the battery operated led lights.

  8. Gina

    July 23, 2012

    I remember a similar post you had about this. I love this idea!

  9. Rose

    July 23, 2012

    I live in Florida, so of course I would choose the beach!

  10. canvasofculture

    July 23, 2012

    such a cute idea, wow! dinner under the golden gate bridge would be so much fun

  11. Notes from Holly St.

    July 23, 2012

    i love, love, love this idea! it’s so magical and anyone would feel lucky to be a part of something so special. living in LA, I would probably choose the beach or a super high rooftop in downtown.

  12. Clare

    July 23, 2012

    I love this idea! We live on the east coast of Australia and have a little island nearby that you can walk to at low tide. I love the idea of setting up a table with a white table cloth, twinkling lights and having a fancy evening picnic there while the tide is high.

  13. Susan

    July 23, 2012

    We have a lot of covered bridges in my neck of the woods, there’s also a great park with a charming old basketball court – perfect for a pop-up dinner. How did you deal (or did you have too at all) with the “public,” and did you find any need to inform authorities?

  14. Nikki Croft

    July 23, 2012

    My Bestie and I put on a Pop-Up Diner Party for 12 of our good friends recently……….A winter Solstice Dinner in the Woods. We were very much inspired by all your work and love what you do here!

    Here’s a link to a blog post about our Pop-Dinner if you want to have a look see!

    Also if you have a browse on the blog you will see many many photos of me and my Bridal party having so much fun with your Printable Photo Booth Props a few months back! They were a highlight at our wedding, Thank you so much for making them available!

  15. Randi - Dukes and Duchesses

    July 23, 2012

    I love the idea of a pop-up dinner party … I have to do one! Living in Texas, the heat is a bit prohibitive for an outdoor party but maybe a fall party would work.

  16. Dana

    July 23, 2012

    Can I be your friend?!…I want a to be invited to a pop-up dinner party. Such an incredible idea. It’d definitely be an evening to remember!

  17. ginger from the style of being

    July 23, 2012

    Awesome! I live on the prairies, so a dinner party in a sea of golden wheat with a view of the mountains would definitely be in order. I love how you kept a secret from your guests. I think the hostess should always have a secret when planning a dinner party. Mystery location…mystery guest list…mystery meat…

  18. Kelly @ Studio DIY

    July 24, 2012

    Love the idea of a pop-up party, hoping to squeeze one in before summer comes to an end!

  19. Maria at

    July 24, 2012

    Your blog is so wonderful and Im following…I hope you follow me also:)

    If you want some cute swedish decor inspiration…check out my new post:)

    Have a great week.

    LOVE Maria at

  20. Patricia ¦ unfounddoor

    July 24, 2012

    Awesome idea! Like Tan above, I’m in the final weeks of pre-wedding organisation(!) but wish I could legitimately devote some time to organising one of these. London has so many great places… (albeit seldom the good weather to make outdoor eating feasible)… the rose garden in Hyde Park (or the meadow part of Kensington Gardens..ooh, or the italian gardens fountain in Kensington Gdns. No prizes for guessing where I spent the morning;).. or the top of Primrose Hill, or under the old gas towers in Bethnal Green…

  21. Kristin Donahue

    July 24, 2012

    Beautiful! Your post has inspired me to plan my own pop-up dinner party. Do you rent your tables and chairs? And what about the food? Is it catered, or do prepare it yourself?

    Love your blog.


  22. how2home

    July 24, 2012

    AWESOME, awesome idea. We’d totally do a pop up dinner….having it on the beach would totally be my dream…


    July 24, 2012

    I love the string lights! That contraption with the string lights would be beautiful as a permanent fixture over a table on a deck as well!!

  24. Lisette

    July 24, 2012

    I love the idea of a pop up dinner. Living in Seattle there are limitless beaches and beautiful settings to create one in.

  25. Lindsey

    July 24, 2012

    This is such a great idea! I’m moving to a city in a month. I’ll have to try this out. Maybe on top of one of those apartment buildings with the rooftop gardens, or next to some kind of statue.

    Et tu, tutu?

  26. Eva

    July 24, 2012

    Awesome idea. Has anybody ever told you to take the party elsewhere. Would love to do it but am afraid somebody would come and tell us we can’t do it.

  27. luciana

    July 25, 2012

    adoreiii… maravilhoso , dá vontade de ficar nestes lugares, reunir amigos. idéia linda esta!!! parabéns!!

  28. Amy

    July 26, 2012

    I love this idea, but do you have to inform the city somehow? If so… what do you ask them?

  29. Sarah

    July 26, 2012

    I love the idea, and will probably do some kind of version of this for my 30th birthday bonfire at the beach next month! I think the ultimate outdoor pop-up dinners can be found at 🙂 I’ve been dreaming of going to one.

  30. Becky

    July 30, 2012

    Oh my! What a gorgeous idea! Would love to go this but living in unpredictably rainy England it would be really hard to do!

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