How to Host a Dinner Party – Part Two

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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.

Backyard Dinner Party

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 yesterday’s blog post titled How to Plan a Backyard Dinner Party.

Outdoor 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.

set a 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. I included a runner, placemats, and charger on my table.

Why did I use so many elements?

I think it will make 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 at a very reasonably priced price here.

Table Setting Ideas

Next, I positioned a dinner plate at the center of each setting, ensuring it was 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. 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 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

Outdoor Dinner Party

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 adding a beautiful, tall centerpiece is tempting, but don’t do it.

Just go for the beauty and not the height. Hehe.

You may want to consider using place cards to assign seating for your dinner parties. I know place cards are often used for more formal dinners, but I use them quite often for family dinners. 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 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 pretty easy to make.

Go to the Cricut Design and type in the names of those attending your party.

Cricut Font for place cards

Modify the font to whichever you want to use. I used the Madina font, which you can download for free here.

I had to manipulate the words so the letters were all attached. That is necessary so that when the words are cut, they are all in 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

The Outdoor Table

I love buying flowers at grocery stores 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 white flowers bunches and made quick floral arrangements.

Arranging Grocery Store Flowers

I love using ball jars as my vases because they are inexpensive and 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. I needed a few larger flowers to fill my vases, and these were perfect.

Arranging Flowers

Next, I cut all my grocery store flowers and placed them in the ball jars. Notice how short the flowers are. I cannot tell you how often 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″.

Floral Centerpieces

I have always believed that simple florals work great. These took less than half an hour to create.

Dinner Party with Lights

As the evening progressed, the setting became more magical!

outdoor dinner table

This was indeed a night I will never forget. And I don’t think my family will either.

How to Host a Party

Gorgeous Summer Patio Decor


You can pin the image below to your Entertaining or Party boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow me on Pinterest!

An outdoor table set with copper chargers, a white place, place cards, candles and beautiful flowers and hanging lights.

For more real-time updates, follow me on Instagram @My100YearOldHome

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  1. Beautiful! Love the simple touches! Yes inquiring minds alike want to know about the floating pool lanterns!

  2. Man – if I had more time in my life, I’d run right out and get one of those Cricut machines! You do amazing things with yours! I love the place card names, the copper and the white flowers, and everything! Thanks for another beautiful table!

  3. I love love the copper details and the place card idea! I need to use my circuit more often! Your backyard is truly dreamy in every way. How cute of the man at the grocery store to have picked out such pretty white flowers for you. The copper chargers on top of the bamboo chargers is such a great idea! Great job as always.

    p.s. I did an outdoor garden party a year ago and I loved how it turned out but I am loving how you hung your lights using the pillars! I think I need some.

  4. Interested on how you were able to hang the lights!! This was the highlight – it added the ambience to the table. Any info or help in how to hang them be great. Maybe a video so we can all see how it’s done??🤗. Thanks!!

  5. Would you please send me your blog for today again. The one for the poolside part. I tried to save it and missed it. Thank yon

  6. My daughter did those place cards using her Cricut for her small wedding. Everyone loved it and took them home. At first I thought, what are you crazy that’s alot of work for 60 people. But to see the delight on everyone’s faces made it worth it.

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