Fine Dining at Home: How to Set Your Table for a Dinner Party
Hosting a party can be exciting and stressful all at the same time. You have a chance to show off your hosting skills, yet there’s so much to do. Where do you start? With setting your table.
Following these simple tips can alleviate the stress of setting your table.
- You can add a tablecloth or leave your table bare. However, a tablecloth can create a more formal feel at an informal event, or it can be replaced seasonally to celebrate holidays.
- The best way to start setting your table is to have a great centerpiece. It can be made up of many pieces or just one jaw-dropping display. Flowers are a good way to dress up your table. However, if you want to make your centerpiece unique, try something you don't typically see being used as a centerpiece.
- Layers are important for creating a professional look. For the first layer, you can use charger plates -- large decorative plates that aren't actually used for food. They're just for show.
- You want to top the charger plate with a dinner plate that will actually be used. You can use a solid color or use a pattern for a bolder look. Just make sure the plates match and complement the desired look.
- The next layer is a saucer. A saucer is used for bread or any appetizer you’re serving. Once again, use a solid or patterned display. It’s up to you. However, I caution against using the same styled plateware you used in the previous steps, as this could be perceived as a lack of attention to detail.
- Layer on a small salad or soup bowl over your saucer. However, if soup or salad isn’t on the menu, then you may want to leave this step out.
- Dinner napkins are an important part of a dinner party. You can fold your napkin in a fancy way and place it on top of your salad bowl, or simply fold it three times and place it under your salad bowl. Cute or fancy dinner napkins can be bought at your local dollar store.
- Now it's time for the silverware placement. You'll need two forks (salad and dinner), a dinner knife, and a spoon. For an informal setting, place your dinner fork to the left of your plateware, with your salad fork to its left. Next, place your dinner knife to the right of your plateware. Lastly, place your spoon to the right of your dinner knife. You can also simply place your silverware in your dinner napkin and roll it up.
- Glassware is your next layer. You will need a water glass and a wine glass. Simply place the water glass just above your dishware and the wine glass just above your dinner knife.
- You can also include a menu, showcasing that you’re a top-notch professional hostess. A menu ets your guests know what to expect during each course. You can handwrite the menu or type it out.
- Be sure to have a seating arrangement and have each seat labeled. This breaks the awkwardness of your guests not knowing where to sit. However, don’t be strict about the seating. Allow guests to change seats if so desired.
Your final placement should look similar to this:
Add some wine, food, and enjoy! Your table setting will show that this dinner party isn’t your first rodeo. Five-star dining right in your own home!
Images used with permission, courtesy of Melanie Dingeldey
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