Nicole Anderson is the owner of Sorella Muse Photography (http://www.sorella-muse.com/) and has photographed 9 Hand Made Events to date! Below she shares her favorite things about these unique gatherings.

As a wedding and event photographer, I’ve seen my fair share of festive events. But shooting the Pop Up Dinners for Hand Made Events has consistently been one of my favorite assignments for the last few years. I feel lucky to work with such fun, relaxed creatives like Nicole and Garrett and to be part of something so unique. After photographing my first PopUp Dinner, I just remember thinking…I’ve never seen anything like this. So here are the top ten things I love about PopUp Dinners!

The PopUP Dinner Brooklyn 2014

The PopUP Dinner Brooklyn 2014

Communal Picnic: I’ve never turned down an invitation to a picnic. The best part of summer is al fresco dining with friends and conversations had while sharing meals and good wine on a warm evening. But what makes the Pop-Up Dinner so special is picnicking en masse. It’s incredible that an event can create a community for an evening. As I’m wandering around photographing, I’ve often been invited to partake in the feast, offered macarons and fruit salad, grilled vegetable skewers and glasses of champagne. I’m so humbled by the community spirit that this event brings out!

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PopUp LA 2013

 

Creativity: From fashion to table design, so many guests get genuinely invested in the creative process. Every year it’s amazing to see what different tables come up with, and the creativity is always whimsical and unexpected.

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Le Dîner SF 2012

 

Simplicity: The concept for the PopUp dinners is so wonderfully simple: gather for a picnic outdoors wearing all white. Yet somehow it’s the simplicity at the heart of the concept that gives the event such spontaneous energy. The best ideas are the simple ones.

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PopUp Charleston 2014

 

Flowers: Few things can so quickly lift the spirits and set the tone for a lovely evening as fresh flowers. Whenever I’m feeling like the color has just gone of out life, I head straight to the store to pick up peonies, ranunculus, hydrangeas, tulips, whatever is in season. I love that so many guests adorn their tables with flowers, it lends the evening an air of elegance and festivity.

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PopUp Charleston 2014

 

Bubbly: I think “Pop, Fizz, Clink” could be the unofficial motto of PopUp Dinners! Any event where champagne is happily being consumed is an event I’m happy to be at. The monk who discovered champagne said it best, “Brothers, come quickly! I am drinking the stars!”

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PopUp Brooklyn 2014

 

Floral Crowns: Given my love of flowers, obviously the floral crown trend is one I adore! But I think the bohemian floral crowns popping up at PopUp Dinners lately also represent how many different styles converge at this event. At one table, someone might be wearing a white evening gown, and next to her is a girl in a white cotton summer dress with daisies in her hair.

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Le Dîner SF 2014

 

Balloons: Maybe I’m a sucker for big balloons, but in my mind, it’s not a party if helium isn’t involved. The best ones have tassels, and of course you can Buy or DIY (http://bridalmusings.com/2012/07/buy-or-diy-geronimo-style-big-round-balloons-with-streamers/)

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PopUp Brooklyn 2014

 

String Lights: I’m a sucker for string lights, always have been, always will be. There’s just something so dreamy and carefree about string lights. As the light falls in the sky and they begin to give off this warm glow to everything around them, they make an ordinary evening feel extraordinary.

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Le Dîner SF 2011

 

Napkin Wave: Any annual event worth its salt needs a tradition or two. The napkin wave is just that for the PopUp Dinner! It feels so festive, and seeing thousands of people waving a napkin in the air is somehow the perfect kick-off to the evening.

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PopUp LA 2012

 

Dancing under the stars: Because this should just happen more often in life.