Easy Entertaining Guide - How To Set a Table for a Dinner Party

As the holiday season quickly approaches, many people are starting to think about hosting get-togethers and dinner parties.

But as fun as it can be, sometimes the concept of hosting a party is enough to cause anxiety and stress. From figuring out what to serve to knowing how to set a table, hosting a party can be a daunting experience for those who don’t have a plan or the right know-how.

Fortunately, there are simple, stress-free ways to host a dinner party without the hassle and frazzle.

How To Set a Table For a Dinner Party

To help you make your next soirée a smashing success, the Inspirations & Celebrations’ easy entertaining tips and party planning ideas below show you how to set a table for a dinner party.

When planning a dinner party, first decide on the party theme (ex. festive holiday party, casual get-together, or elegant occasion). This will help you decide on the type of linens and table decorations to use. The appearance of your dining table sets the mood for your party and can also give your guests an idea of the type of food that will be served.

Easy Entertaining Guide - How To Set a Table for a Dinner Party

If you opt for traditional dinnerware and linens (like paisley or plaid patterns), your guests might be able to expect classic, gourmet-style food (such as a baked Salmon entrée paired with wine); whereas, if you display tropical-inspired dinnerware and linens (like a bold floral print), they could expect to dine on island flavors (such as a macadamia-crusted Mahi Mahi with a fruit cocktail).

How To Create a Place Setting

When putting out your dinnerware, make sure to display the flatware in the proper place. A simple way to remember which side the forks, knife, and spoon goes is to keep in mind that fork is spelled with four-letters (so it goes on the left); whereas, spoon and knife are both spelled with five-letters (so they go on the right).

Easy Entertaining Guide - How To Set a Table for a Dinner Party

Also, think about how the food will be served to determine which utensils go out the outside. For example, soups and salads generally precede the main course. Therefore, the salad fork and soup spoon will be placed on the outer edge.

Plate chargers and placemats also help define the place setting for each guest while adding visual interest to your dining table.

In addition, while printed dinnerware can be eye-catching, the best way to showcase your food is on simple white (or neutral-colored) dinnerware. It’s advisable to keep the prints on the table linens (and off your plates), so that the food can remain the highlight of your dinner.

Easy Entertaining Guide - How To Set a Table for a Dinner Party

How To Quickly Display Table Linens:

While some people might be experts at folding napkins, most of us are all thumbs when it comes to folding napkins. That’s why napkin rings are a blessing.

Start by folding the napkin in half. Then take each corner, and fold the napkin inward, creating a spherical shape. Simply slip the napkin ring over the folded napkin, and place it at the center of the napkin. You can either put the folded napkin on the left-side of the place setting (outside of the utensils), or on the plate itself, depending on your personal preference.

Easy Entertaining Guide - How To Set a Table for a Dinner Party

Available in a wide variety of styles, colors, and shapes, napkin rings are a fast and easy way to beautifully display table linens. Plus, they help you instantly change-up the look of your dining table. From glamorous metal napkin rings (in polished silver or high-shine gold) to unique napkin rings with whimsical ornaments on top (like dramatic flowers or playful birds), napkin rings are a fun way to add color and texture to your table.

Easy Entertaining Guide - How To Set a Table for a Dinner Party

How To Easily Display Glassware:

When hosting a dinner party, it’s best to decide in advance the types of beverages you are going to serve. For most occasions, red and white wine pairs well food, while being socially acceptable by most people. When setting up the glassware on your dining table, place a red wine glass next to a white wine glass, so that your guests can have both options during their meal.

To display your wines (and make it convenient for your guests to fill-up their glasses), use a wine decanter. This not only enables your wine to open up (which lets it “breathe” before serving), it also creates a lovely display on your table. If you want your guests to know the name of of the wine you’re serving (such as an award-winning, top-rated wine), use a decanter tag to proudly highlight the name of the brand on it.

Easy Entertaining Guide - How To Set a Table for a Dinner Party

How To Create a Simple Centerpiece:

When creating a centerpiece for your table, opt for flowers and candles. This is your chance to add visual interest to your dining table by adding vibrant colors, textures, and height to your display.

That’s where candle holders (in a variety of heights, shapes, and sizes) and flower vases can really add flair and beauty to your dining table. Just remember to opt for unscented candles, so that they don’t conflict with the aroma of the food you are serving.

Easy Entertaining Guide - How To Set a Table for a Dinner Party

From centerpieces to place settings, by following the easy entertaining tips above, you’re well on your way to hosting a fabulous dinner party that all your guests will love. To shop the types of products described in this entertaining guide, click the images below. Cheers!

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