How to Set the Perfect Table for a Dinner Party

With the holidays quickly approaching, hosts are wondering how to get everything prepared in time. So we have some words of wisdom for you… start with a plan!

Here are a few tips to assist you in planning for the perfect dinner party table setting:

  1. Get organized. Choose a theme and colors that work with your décor and china pattern.
  2. Use place cards. Seat people so they make new friends and create conversation.
  3. Plan your menu. Will you be serving appetizers, soup, and dessert along with your main course? This will help you as to how to set the table. Once the menu is planned, make sure you have enough utensils.
  4. Keep it low. Nothing is worse than sitting down to a dinner expecting to see the person across from you and there is a huge floral arrangement sitting in the middle of the table preventing you to see one another. Your tablescape should be no higher than a bottle of wine, which is about nine inches tall. This allows sight lines to be open across the table at all times. For more information on how to keep your tablescape low, check out Mary Cook’s featured blog: Creating the Perfect Tablescape.
  5. Prep ahead. Set the table at least one day before your meal. This will allow for extra time for meal preparation. Early prepping can go a long way to make the dinner party run smoothly. For more help with setting your table, check out our blog: How to Set a Beautiful and Memorable Table for the Holidays.

Another way to prep ahead is to plan how you will serve the meal to your guests. Consider the space and number of people attending. You may choose to serve family style, placing the platters of food on the table for passing. Another option would be to place the meal in the kitchen and serve each guest. Or, you may decide to serve the meal buffet style around the kitchen island.

For more ideas on how you can set the perfect table, please visit Toll Brothers’ For Your Next Gathering board on Pinterest. 

This story combines tips from both Lisa Richey, author and creator of the popular program, Manners To Go and Mary Cook, founder and president of Mary Cook Associates

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