You guys know that I love to throw a good party. It’s pretty much the base theme of Love Always, Audrey and I live for creating events that people will remember.
One type of gathering that I love above all others is Shabbat. If you don’t know what this is, Shabbat is a weekly holiday for Jewish people (you might recognize it as the Sabbath). For Jews, it’s 24 hours every week from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown when you eat, drink, and just relax. It’s a time of reflection from the previous week, and a special opportunity to put your phone down and connect with people IRL. One tradition that comes from this weekly holiday is Shabbat dinners every Friday night, which I love hosting because of who I am as a person. Although I don’t host or attend every single Friday night, I deeply enjoy it when I do, both on a spiritual and social level.
A few months ago, my friend Marissa from OneTable (a non-profit dedicated to funding Shabbat dinners for 20 and 30 year olds) reached out to see if I’d be interested in planning a summer-themed Shabbat dinner that would be open to 30 people of Chicago’s Jewish community. At the time, I was absolutely swamped with planning bachelorette parties, helping with wedding planning, and personal trips. Plus, work was insanely busy at the time and I was working wayyy more hours than I normally do. But something (something crazy) inside of me just blurted out “OF COURSE! I’d love that!”
I am so glad my crazy self said yes to this.
This past Friday, 30 wonderful people gathered for a rooftop summertime sunset Shabbat dinner that I will never forget. Here’s how I made it happen (and how you can, too):
I sourced all of my decorations from Paper Source. (Are you surprised? You can see other parties I’ve thrown with them here, here, and here.) I got to preview their new Endless Summer line with this dinner (plates and napkins specifically), and to say I love this collection would be an understatement. Everything in it is so gorgeous – the colors are fantastic and I love all of the citrus and floral graphics! Everything in the collection complements each other so nicely, doesn’t it?
When people walked in, they saw a string of place cards and name tags with their names already on them (which I unfortunately didn’t get a picture of). I put the place card in front, and then used a mini clothespin to attach a name tag for them as well! And then I used the same clothespin to fasten them to the string. I then had everyone put their place card where they wanted to sit for the evening so they could save their seat while mingling!
We taped these coral paper flowers to the table and they looked so cute.
One thing I really recommend putting on the table is a set of Table Topics. It’s a pack of cards that asks fun questions for you to discuss as a group – it’s a great way to get meaningful conversations going! I have a set on my dining room table at home, too.
I used these blue tile tea towels (say that 10 times fast) to add a little more color and texture to the table. I love the tassels at the end of them! I also put down blue wrapping paper on top of the white tablecloths for a few reasons: a) it looked pretty and b) people spilled wine on the paper instead of my tablecloths. Win win!
We used this tray as a Challah tray and it worked out perfectly! And now it’s in my living room housing all my candles. Double duty!
This little “party” bottle opener is like a sneaky, multifunctional piece of decor.
I ordered all the food for the evening (excluding dessert) from The Pasta Bowl. This is one of my all-time favorite restaurants in Chicago because it’s quick, inexpensive, and freaking delicious. It was actually Idan’s idea to call them for catering because we always see their little red catering cars driving all over the city! Their catering manager, Jay, is extremely easy to work with and very responsive. I would 100000% order catering from them again!
For dessert, we got Stan’s Donuts and put them on my donut wall (remember it from this post?). I re-painted the donut wall to match the other colors of the night and it complemented everything really well! Visit this post for instructions on how to make it (it’s super easy).
The big chocolate cake came from Costco and is honestly one of my favorite desserts of all time. It always reminds me of Matilda and every time I see it, “you must eat the entire confection!” comes into my head. Anyone else? Bruce Bruce Bruce!
I made the “Shabbat Shalom” cake topper with my Cricut (SVG file for your use here!). I know I talk about it all the time, but my Cricut is literally my best friend and I think every crafty person should invest in one if they can. There is no limit to the things you can make with it! To make the topper, I just cut out the letters and used rubber cement to adhere the letters to some skewers. Super super easy.
I absolutely love Chloe Wine and was ecstatic when they offered to provide the wine for the evening. The rosé was a huge hit (no surprise there) and of course the bottles are beautiful and added even more decorative charm. Thank you to the team at Chloe Wine – the wine was, as always, fantastic! You can see another post where we drank all the Chloe Wine here. I’m truly obsessed with this stuff.
We actually found this venue on Airbnb. We were searching high and low for a private rooftop space for weeks and finally came across this amazing apartment space. If you are looking for an event rental space, I highly recommend checking out Airbnb and Splacer (which we didn’t find until after already booking the rooftop, but it’s just as cool).
Overalls from Alice and Wonder, where else?
I used these gift labels as name tags. Worked out perfectly.
Taryn took a looot of the pics on this post. Thank you T!! Love you <3
My heart is so full. I love hosting Shabbat and this night was absolutely perfect. Thank you to all who attended – and if you’re Jewish and interested in hosting your own Shabbat dinner, visit OneTable here.
Thank you so much to everyone who made this Summertime Sunset Shabbat possible:
Michael Brown, Alyssa Barrett, and Marissa Freeman for helping me set all of this up! I couldn’t have done this without you.
Taryn Rosenberg for taking a ton of photos!