My three-year-old nephew and I wrote a song about doing chores in which we ask every member of the family what their favorite chore and least favorite chore is. It kept him singing and standing at the sink with me for at least an hour post-Christmas dinner while I crushed those dishes, so you know it’s a v. good song. I’m going to spare you my singing voice and instead tell you about MY FAVORITE ever chore. Setting the table. Because setting the table is LIFE!
First, assign seats!
Assigned seating is queen! Especially when everyone doesn’t know each other. This helps avoid weird gaps and general awkwardness. It also gives you a chance for creativity in creating place cards. I often try to upcycle these: old paint chips that didn’t make the cut, fabric or leather samples from couch buying adventures, shipping tags, spray-painted animals, whatever YOUR pleasure.
Glasses for days
Lots of glasses are my favorite, plus my grandma and my mama predisposed me to genetically LOVING dishes, so I have many sets. I usually set a water glass, wine glass, champagne flute and then do a cocktail in a rocks glass as guests arrive and have appetizers. These margarita glasses are super fabulous so you see them a lot on my table in the summer. I mix and match these keeping a similar color palette where everything goes but nothing matches.
Paging Emily Post…
Do you always forget how to set the silverware? Or what side the glasses go? I’ve got two-life changing tricks that will cure these ails. FORK has four letters and so does LEFT. Forks on the left. SPOON and KNIFE have five letters and so does RIGHT. Spoons and knives on the right. Put the ones you need first on the outside (salad, then entree forks, etc.)
Touch your thumb to your pointer finger on both hands. Your left-hand makes a “b” and your right-hand makes a “d”. Your bread plate goes on the left and your drinking glasses go on the right. This is also helpful when you are sitting at a table and you’re unsure which bread plate or water glass is yours. Please don’t steal.
Let’s talk about centerpieces, baby
The last tip–keep your centerpieces low, Nobody wants to have to look over a giant vase of flowers to talk to the person across the table. And that’s the whole point of a dinner party right? Good food and good conversation.
You know we love setting tables. If you love looking at tables as much as we love setting them, make sure you check out our styled shoot for Tablescapes, where we created a moody spring tablescape with all of our favorite rental items. We also did this fun styled shoot at Thalia Hall and this fun one at Antique Taco where you can get tons of ideas for your next dinner party. Enjoy and bon appetit!