Today I am sharing more details about how to host a dinner party. This was one of the most special parties ever.
Here are more details about the table, place cards, and floral arrangements.
A while ago I hosted a magical dinner party for my family. I was in a “creative mood” and wanted to do something fun.
I explained how I set up the outdoor dining room for the party in my blog post called How to Plan a Backyard Dinner Party.
One of the things that made this table so special was the table setting, place cards, and flowers. I am very excited to share with you how I created this table.
Setting a Table
Setting the table for a dinner party involves a series of steps to create an inviting and well-organized atmosphere.
First, cover the table with a tablecloth, runner, and/or individual placemats at each place setting. On my table, I included a runner, placemats, and a charger.
Why did I use so many elements?
Because I think it makes the table much more interesting and inviting.
To set the rest of the table, I used things that I already owned. I purchased the placemats, copper chargers, candlesticks, and table runner last year. The candlesticks are my favorite and they are only $7 each!
The plates are Wedgewood Edme and you can find them very reasonably priced here.
Next, I positioned a dinner plate at the center of each setting, ensuring they were aligned with the table’s edge and evenly spaced. I placed the napkins on the left side of the plates although they can be placed in the center of the plates too!
When it came time to add the silverware, I mixed and matched the cutlery. I have done this forever. Don’t be afraid to try it.
To complete the table setting, arrange the glassware above the knives. One question I always get is where do the water and wine glasses go on a table?
Place the water glass directly above the dinner knife, and if you’re serving wine, position a wine glass slightly above and to the right of the water glass. If red and white wine are both being served, you can have two wine glasses, with the red wine glass placed closer to the center of the table.
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How to Add Ambiance to a Table
Now, it’s time to add decorative elements and create an ambiance. Choose a centerpiece or decorations that enhance the theme or atmosphere of the party. This could be a floral arrangement, candles, or other decorative items.
However, ensure that the centerpiece is not too tall or obstructive, as it should allow guests to see and converse with each other comfortably across the table. I know it’s tempting to add a beautiful and tall centerpiece but don’t do it.
Just go for the beauty and not the height. Hehe.
For your dinner parties, you may want to consider using place cards to assign seating. I know place cards are often used for more formal dinners but I use them for family dinners quite often. I love making my guests feel special even if it’s just my family. You can position the place cards above the napkins or on the salad plates. It’s up to you!
How to Make the Place Cards
I cannot believe how many of you asked about these place cards. In truth, many of you thought the plates were personalized (which I just might try to do someday!). It’s funny because when I looked back at some of the photos on my blog post, it did look like the plates were personalized.
I made these place cards with my Cricut machine. I have the Cricut Maker but you can use any machine that cuts cardstock. These were fairly easy to make.
Go to the Cricut Design and type in the names of those attending your party.
Modify the font to whichever you want to use. I used the Madina font and you can download the font for free here.
I did have to manipulate the words so that the letters are all attached. That is necessary so that when the words are cut they are all one piece.
I used Cricut Kraft Board Foil material. My Cricut machine cut them all out perfectly so please know that I didn’t have to do much.
The Cricut machines and kraft foil are shown below.
And all I did was place them on top of the plates!
Even though the party was for four and we knew the names of our own family (duh), the copper place cards made the table feel more special. They also made the dinner feel more special than an ordinary Monday night dinner at home!
How to Arrange the Flowers
I love buying grocery store flowers when a trip to the flower market doesn’t make sense. For one table, grocery store flowers are a lot more practical. I bought a few bunches of white flowers and made my own quick floral arrangements.
I love using ball jars as my vases because they are inexpensive and quite plentiful at our house. (If you haven’t seen my post about where I store my party supplies, you might enjoy it.) I used 16 oz. ball jars for these arrangements.
The first thing I did was head to my backyard and cut some hydrangeas in my yard. I needed a few larger flowers to fill my vases and these were perfect.
Next, I cut all of my grocery store flowers and placed them in the ball jars. Notice how short the flowers are. I cannot tell you how many times I have finished my flower arrangements and placed them on the table only to find out they were too tall!
I believe the total height of these vases is about 12″.
I have always believed that simple florals work great. These took less than half an hour to create.
As the evening progressed, the setting became more magical!
This was truly a night I will never forget. And I don’t think my family will either.
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