How to Set a Table graciously and elegantly is a learned skill. In fact, you can learn how to set a table in no time at all! It just takes practice, an eye for what looks good, and a willingness to display your own personal aesthetic. Different settings look good at different occasions, obviously, but there are several basic things you need to know that will always help. If you'd like to learn how to set a table for formal dinners and special occasions, I've got some great tips for you!
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The first step in how to set a table properly and graciously involves your tablecloth. Linen works beautifully, because it's crisp, clean, and elegantly simple. It hangs well on any table, and you can easily dress it up by including a bit of lace overlay. Include linen napkins and place mats for a great overall look.
Your place setting is important as well. It's best to use a wonderful, heavy china. Not only will the dishes look lovely, but they'll be durable, which is always important during a dinner party. If you have china in your family, see if you can borrow it for special occasions. If you enjoy having dinner parties, cooking, and hosting suppers, it's definitely worth it to invest in your own.
Every pretty table needs an equally pretty centerpiece. This comes down to what you like best, what goes well with the theme and the décor, and what complements the food. It can be different for every dinner, and may consist of many things, like candle arrangements, flowers, bowls filled with colorful balls and bulbs, or a bit of greenery. It depends on your taste and your personal aesthetic.
When you're learning how to set a table, it's crucial to focus on your tableware. The silverware is important, of course – quality pieces with a nice heft work best. Think about investing in all the proper pieces, down to soup spoons and dessert forks. No matter what kind of silverware you have, make sure you set it out correctly! You need some good crystal, including water glasses and wine goblets. Have cups and saucers for coffee afterward.
Create a Theme
Having a theme for your dinner party is a superb idea! It may be seasonal or occasional, i.e. themed around summer or focusing on Christmas. It might be a cocktail party theme or you may decide to go all out and host a dinner party revolving around old Hollywood glamor. Feel free to be super creative here.
Use Cloth Napkins
Back to the subject of linens and things, always go with cloth napkins! They're far more elegant and attractive. On a practical side, they work better than paper napkins, because they don't rip or tear. They're also more environmentally friendly. Linen napkins laid upon a linen tablecloth look gorgeous. It gives the table some much needed texture.
Naturally, figuring out how to set a table often revolves around being a good hostess or host as well. Name cards can help you do that. When you're having a large dinner party and/or when you've invited a lot of new people, name cards can make the whole process of choosing seats much easier.
Red & White Wine Glasses
As I mentioned, the crystal you use is also vital. It's best to have wine glasses for each kind of wine. Proper dinner parties can and often do include both for different courses. Wine glasses have their own characteristics, to better highlight the wine being served, so this will make the whole tasting experience much more pleasurable.
Candles for Elegance
It's often said that dining by candlelight enhances your sense of taste. In addition, it creates a very intimate, elegant atmosphere. Candles can only add to the elegance of you're table, just make sure that you choose wisely – you don't want a lot of wax dripping on your linens!
Finally, don't be afraid to experiment with color. An attractive table can enhance the palette as well. It makes the entire dining experience that much better. As such, play with colors, be creative, and have fun choosing different shades and huge to complement your dining table.
Learning how to set a table really is easy. You just need to practice so you can figure out what looks good. Over time you can pick up other details that will help you how to set a table beautifully – things like specially folded napkins and gorgeously appointed centerpieces. Do you have any other tips about how to set a table you'd like to share?
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