Tabletalk: a Blog by BBJ

Throw a Black and White Gala This Winter

November 30, 2015

If you’re looking for an excuse to get everyone together and all dressed up this winter, why not throw a black and white gala? Galas are perfect events for fundraising and celebrations alike, and they give guests an opportunity to really pull out all the stops when they get ready to go out. Black and white themed events are hot this winter, so take advantage of the trend and put together something that’s gorgeous and elegant. Here are some ideas you can work with for this gala.

Instead of Solid Colors, Use Interesting Patterns

While it’s easy to do simple, solid colored tablecloths in high-end fabrics, for a more fun and unexpected, try houndstooth, striped or plaid/checked in black and white.

Alternate Base Colors and Runners or Overlays

Another great way to provide interesting tablescapes is by creating different textures or layers. This can be done by using a solid color tablecloth, then creating another layer by using a contrasting table runner, or creating texture by using a sheer or lace overlay in the contrasting color—for instance, a black tablecloth with a white lace overlay. If you want to use black and white as the base colors, you can also choose to use a third color or metallic shade as the accent or overlay color.

Design an Event-Appropriate Look

It’s not a surprise that charity galas and, say, anniversary celebration galas will have a different atmosphere. That said, it’s important to decorate for the mood you want to create, whether that’s a serious mood or an entertaining and celebratory one. Brighter colors (lighting, floral arrangements) are great for the latter, but if you want a more subdued look, you can use candlelight or dimmed lights.

Advise Guests of the Dress Code

It’s up to you whether you want to make the black and white décor theme carry over to the dress code, but that said if you’re going to throw a black and white gala, you may as well make it fancy from start to finish. When you send out invitations, invite your guests to dress in all black, all white, or a combination of the two.

Planning a black and white gala is a fun and elegant way to end the year, no matter what event you’re trying to celebrate. Will you be hosting one?

Photos by Carretto Studio Photography (

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