Looking for some pretty outdoor dining table decor ideas? Wait until you see this summer tablescape inspiration for an al fresco Southern style potluck dinner party.

If you looking to add a touch of Southern charm to your next potluck dinner party, you don’t have to be from the south to do it!

Whether you’re a born-and-raised Southerner or simply want to infuse some warm hospitality into your gathering, Southern-style table decor is the perfect way to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

For this month’s supper club, we are shooting a Southern-style potluck dinner party, so today, we are chatting about what that entails for getting the look regardless of your location.

We’ll also chat about ways to set a rustic elegant table with fresh-cut flowers, and dive into the world of potluck dinner parties with a Southern twist.

Wait until you see how gorgeous my table looks in the potager garden!

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About My Supper Club

We’ve been having a great time with our supper club and this month we are celebrating the end of summer with an al fresco potluck dinner party infused with Southern style.

Whether you are hosting family or friends, we are sharing lots of beautiful outdoor dining table centerpieces and decorating ideas.

In case you are new here, I’m Stacy, a self-taught master gardener who lives and gardens in northern New Jersey, zone 6a.

We recently moved to a beautiful 1850 Farmhouse with 10 acres of gardens, sculptures and statues.

I’ve been gardening for over 20 years and enjoy helping beginner gardeners find their inner green thumb, as well as discover a love for all things plants and flowers. I love to bring the outdoors inside my home too.

I hope you enjoy visiting my home today and hope you come back so we can grow stuff and create beautiful spaces together.

southern style table decor ideas with fresh cut flower centerpiece and rustic elegant table decor ideas

Embracing Southern Style

In general, Southern style is characterized by its graciousness, comfort, and attention to detail. It’s about creating an atmosphere that makes guests feel like family, even if they’re meeting for the first time.

Think of classic elements like mason jar glasses, gingham patterns, wooden accents, lots of texture, and an abundance of hospitality.

From the decor to the cuisine, Southern style exudes warmth and a sense of welcome.

southern style table decor ideas with fresh cut flower centerpiece and rustic elegant table decor ideas in an outdoor dining space in the potager garden

Bringing Southern Charm Anywhere

Even if you’re miles away from the heart of Dixie, you can still channel Southern style effortlessly.

Start by incorporating iconic elements such as checkered tablecloths, vintage-inspired dishware, and charming mason jar centerpieces.

Mixing and matching patterns, textures, and colors will add depth to your decor. I love the rustic elegant look, so that’s what we are going for with this month’s supper club theme.

southern style table decor ideas with fresh cut flower centerpiece and rustic elegant table decor ideas and soft candlelight with vintage candle holders with taper candles

Rustic Elegance with Fresh Cut Flowers

One of the quintessential ways to enhance your Southern-style potluck dinner party is by using fresh-cut flowers. And if you have blooms to cut from your own cut flower garden, even better!

There are lots of great flowers you can use to create a beautiful table that evokes a Southern style.

Here are a few ideas depending on what’s blooming in your locality or what you can get from the florist:

To create a rustic yet elegant table, consider leaving your table bare or using a burlap table runner or buffalo check tablecloth as the backdrop for your feast.

Arrange the mason jar vases in a row down the center of the table or in a beautiful centerpiece, interspersed with small tea lights or vintage taper candleholders for a touch of soft lighting as the sun sets.

This blend of rustic charm and delicate elegance will transport your guests to a Southern oasis.

southern style table centerpiece idea for the dining table with fresh cut flowers from the garden that include zinnias, dahlias, amaranth and strawflowers on a rustic elegant table in the potager garden

The Joy of a Potluck Dinner Party

But now we get to the easy part of hosting a dinner party – going with a potluck! A potluck dinner party is a fantastic way to bring people together over a shared love of food and community.

It’s a gathering where each guest brings a dish to share, lightening the load on the host and ensuring a diverse spread of delectable treats.

Potluck dinners encourage collaboration, conversation, and the joy of discovering new flavors. And if you are going with a theme like Southern style, tropical party, or a soup party potluck, it gives guests a direction so you can enjoy a cohesive dinner menu.

southern style table decor ideas with fresh cut flower centerpiece and rustic elegant table decor ideas that have a neutral plaid, wood disks and gold flatware

Southern-Style Potluck Fare

When hosting a Southern-style potluck dinner party, consider dishes that pay homage to the region’s culinary heritage.

Simple classics like

  • fried chicken
  • cornbread
  • collard greens
  • macaroni and cheese
  • potato salad
  • peach cobbler
  • pecan pie
  • and sweet tea or fresh lemonade.

Encourage guests to bring their favorite Southern-inspired dishes, whether they’re traditional recipes or modern interpretations. It makes it easier for them to make something with less fuss and stress.

easy potato salad recipe
southern style table decor ideas with fresh cut flowers centerpiece and rustic elegant table decor with tartain plaids.

My Southern Style Table Decor Ideas

For our supper club, I set the table in the potager garden where I’m growing both a cut flower garden and vegetables.

The potager is a great backdrop for al fresco dinner parties and since it’s getting a bit cooler out, the atmosphere is perfect for a potluck party.

The Centerpiece

To set the table, I opted to go with one big centerpiece of fresh flowers. And I have to say, I really tried to restrain myself with how many flowers I was using, but I just kept cutting away and came up with this gorgeous arrangement of dahlias, zinnias, snapdragons, strawflowers, and amaranth.

Originally, I was just going to use a vintage copper can I found thrifting. But wanted a little more texture to the table so I grabbed my oversized basket tray.

So I added the copper can, tucked in some mason jars and bud vases around it, filled them with water and started cutting from my garden.

southern style table decor ideas with fresh cut flower centerpiece and rustic elegant table decor ideas

Adding Southern Style Table Decor Ideas

Instead of using a table runner or tablecloth, I opted to use these pretty paned dish towels for each place setting.

Aren’t they so pretty? You don’t have to use traditional table decor to decorate a table, so think outside the box!

I added some elegant melamine plates with these pretty tartan plaid napkins. And then I topped each table setting off with a wood disk, vintage gold flatware tied with twine, and fresh-cut sage.

Since the garden is starting to transition to fall, my moscow mule mugs add a hint of an autumn color palette to the table and really pick up the colors from the garden flowers.

And that’s it!

southern style table decor ideas with fresh cut flower centerpiece and rustic elegant table decor ideas with close up of table settings with wood discs, plaid linens and gold flatware with fresh cut sage from the garden
southern style table decor ideas with fresh cut flower centerpiece and rustic elegant table decor ideas in the potager garden

More About Southern Style Table Decor Ideas

Do you have any table decor ideas for a Southern style potluck dinner party you’d like to share? I would love to know more in the comments below.

And don’t miss joining my Gardening DIY and Decorating Community on Facebook for more chatter. And follow along there and on Instagram as well. There are behind-the-scenes daily things that I share on Instagram that don’t make it to the blog. Would love to see you there too!

If you prefer to binge-watch Bricks ’n Blooms on TV, we go more in-depth with tours and posts on my YouTube channel. Would love to hang out with you there!

And… If you’re catching up on blog posts you may have missed, be sure to sign-up to get my newest posts via email to stay up to date with everything that’s happening here on the blog and more.

Click here to shop my vintage farmhouse with close up of the front porch with flowers

Wait Until You See These Southern-Style Summer Tablescape Ideas

If you are looking for some rustic elegant ideas for an outdoor dining table, here are some pretty decorating ideas to try.

Click on the blog name to view the post.

Looking for More Supper Club Ideas?

Our supper club has been so much fun and we’ve covered so much over the last year.

Whether you are in a supper club or just want some dinner party theme inspiration, check out the themes we’ve hosted before that shares lots of beautiful centerpiece and table decor ideas.

And click here if you want to learn how to organize and host your own supper club. They are so fun to do and provide a great reason to gather regularly with family and friends.

close up of creme caramel coreopsis

Garden Supplies I Use

I’m often asked about the garden supplies and tools that I use most. From pruners to deer repellents, here are some of my favorites in no particular order.

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southern style table decor ideas with fresh cut flower centerpiece and rustic elegant table decor ideas
Stacy Ling and her family smiling and standing together in a park with lush greenery and a pond in the background on a sunny day for her daughter's graduation from Ohio State University

Bricks ‘n Blooms Weekly 183

Hi there! I hope you had a great week! And happy Mother’s Day to all of the amazing moms out there! Random Things Happening Behind the Scenes at Bricks ‘n Blooms What a week it was! After a long weekend in Columbus, Ohio celebrating Shana’s graduation from THE Ohio State University, I am exhausted! It…
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A large garden pot filled with white sweet alyssum and pink flowers of gomphrena, surrounded by lush green and variegated yellow hosta plants in a vibrant garden setting.

Companion Planting for Hostas: Your Guide to Pest-Free, Beautiful Shade Gardens

Tired of slugs and deer ruining your hostas? Learn the secrets of companion planting for hostas to keep pests away and create a gorgeous, low-maintenance shade garden. Hostas, with their lush foliage and elegant blooms, are staples of the shade garden. But did you know that choosing the right companion plants can make your hostas…
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Thank you so much for following along.

Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stacy Ling

Want to learn more about me? I’m a master gardener who’s been gardening and growing things for over 25 years and author of the best-selling book, The Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide to a Beautiful and Easy-Care Flower Garden. Get the inside scoop about my background as a master gardener, education, and experience, as well as why I started blogging here.

stacy ling cutting dahlias in her garden
Home and Garden Blogger Stacy Ling cutting zinnia flowers in her cottage garden with wood picket fence in front of garden shed

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14 Comments

  1. Oh, Stacy! Your tablescape is stunning! The flower arrangement took my breath away. Every detail is perfection.

  2. Oh my gosh Stacy, your southern potluck table is absolutely amazing!!! The centerpiece is to die for with all the gorgeous flowers, and I would never have thought to use dish towels as place mats. I love that idea!!! Thank you for including me in this supper club, I had so much fun creating a table and recipe for a southern potluck!

  3. My mom was from the Carolinas. I remember sitting on wooden picnic benches under a big pecan tree. Sliced, saucer-sized red or yellow tomatoes heaped on a platter, biscuits filled with sliced ham, deviled eggs, fried okra, buttermilk, pole beans, pecan pie and banana pudding. My fancy southern friends pull out the good crystal, fine China and lace edged, ironed linens for a fabulous meal for fellowship, sitten’ and talkin’ for hours on end. And we ALWAYS ask the good Lord for His blessing and thank Him for His bounty.

  4. Your flowers are just stunning as always! And I really love how you set your table with wood slices…just a fun idea. Using the dishtowels under each place setting is genius. May have to steal that idea! Pinned to remember later.

  5. Such a beautiful table Stacy! Your floral centerpiece is amazing and might be my favorite one yet.

  6. Goodness, Stacy. Your table is an absolute show-stopper. Those flowers are stunning! And I love how you incorporated touches of plaid with your linens. The perfect way to transition into fall. Pinned!

  7. What a stunning tablescape Stacy! You had me at the dahlias and zinnias. Thanks for the inspiration my friend.