Backyard Tuscan Feast

PLANNER: Cynthea Kinnaman, Art & Soul Weddings and Events, Santa Fe, NM

VENUE: Ask a relative or friend with a yard that's large and flat enough to accommodate a tent if you can host the event at her home. Make sure there's plenty of street parking. $0

DECOR: Create a Tuscan-themed dinner with DIY centerpieces. Find old silver candelabras on eBay, and purchase rolls of wired grapevine at panysilk.com. Loosely wrap the grapevine around the candelabra bases and stems, add tapers, then place bunches of grapes around the bases. For more lighting, buy votives and clear holders and scatter them on all flat surfaces—benches, railings, etc. $958

FOOD: The star of the show is a pig roast. Find a caterer who specializes in barbecue and pig roasts, and who cooks on-site and includes staff in the cost. (Google "barbecue caterers" to find one in your area.) Serve tomato-basil salad and potato salad, and place boards of cheeses and bread on the tables with dipping bowls of olive oil—buy extra-virgin olive oil at a wholesale club and infuse it with rosemary. $4,330

DRINK: Many wholesale clubs stock great wine for $70 a case and good beer for $20 or less a case. Fill aluminum tubs with ice for chilling; bottles of red go right on the tables. $736

MUSIC: Instead of having live music, customize your tunes by using your laptop and a sound system rented from a local audio company. (Enlist a responsible friend to monitor the playlists.) $165

RENTALS: You'll need plenty; tell your rental company up front what you can spend. Basics: a 40-by-60-foot tent (wrap the poles with grapevine); long tables, for family-style seating; chairs; white floorlength linens, for a polished ambience; a cake table; glassware; dishes; and lighting. Wrap the heavy-duty plastic utensils supplied by your caterer in linenlike dinner napkins tied with ribbon, then add a rosemary sprig to each bundle. $3,808

TOTAL: $9,997

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Photo: Alamy

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