Ralph Lauren Table Setting.
With a little planning and some decoration inspiration your holiday decorating, entertaining and event preparation can be relatively stress-free. Here are seven decoration and preparation tips to make your next Thanksgiving dinner party an elegant and joyful success.
1.Table size and number of chairs. How many dinner guests will you need to sit comfortably at the dinner table? Is your table large enough? Is it still large enough after placing the serving dishes, drinks, floral arrangement and candles in the center? If not, consider bringing in secondary tables to use as serving tables. Give your guests at least 18″ of elbow space at the table and plenty of space to get in and out their seats without disrupting their neighbors.
2. Table linens. The table cloth, runners and place mats all form the foundation for your Thanksgiving table. I like to use neutral colored table clothes in ivory, black, navy gray, or white. The table cloth will create a large block of color on which you can layer table runners – this is where I recommend using non-neutral colors and metallic sparkle. Take your color and pattern cues from the dinnerware or formal china you will be using as this will create a cohesive table setting.
3. Candles,floral and/or gourd dinner table arrangements. Keep it simple, keep it low, keep it centered and keep it non-scented (candles). Don’t let your decorative touches impede the most important aspects of your holiday dinner – conversation and ease of accessing food dishes and drinks. Long after your dinner party is over you want your guests to remember how much fun they had and what wonderful food was presented to them. Those are the key elements the decor is just a supporting prop.
4. Lighting. Warm golden light is the best. Dim the dining room lighting so that it feels cozy and intimate. Candle light is beautiful and perfect for this type of dinner party.
5. Music. Set the tone with music – you can decide what best fits your party. Personally, I like to play soft modern classics and later in the evening I love to bring out the Christmas music as we trim the Christmas tree with our family.
6. Fragrance. Strategically place nutmeg, pumpkin and pecan pie scented candles at your home’s entry, living room and other rooms where your guest will congregate. The only rule for scented candles is to keep them off the dinner table so that the strong (and scented candles are) fragrance doesn’t overpower your wonderful Thanksgiving feast.
7. Give Thanks. Create unique and memorable place cards for your guests by using seasonally inspired “Thank You/Gratitude” cards. How to do this, for each guest: on the card jot down why you are thankful to count these special people among your friends and family, place the card in its envelope (the envelope can also be seasonally decorated if you enjoy creating paper crafts) and with a calligraphy pen (color coordinated with the predominate color from your holiday decorating palette or gold) write their name and place the gratitude card at their assigned seat.