Table Settings: More Important Than You Might Think

Table Settings: More Important Than You Might Think

A more traditional table setting might seem a little old-fashioned and fussy. However, even at the most contemporary restaurants, there is a lot of forethought put into the table setting. Why not give the guests the same experience at your event?

The Overall Design

Before you purchase or rent your tableware, it is important to consider the overall theme and colors of your event. You will want your table accents and tableware to enhance your theme, even if they don’t particularly stand out. Some things to consider when choosing the colors for your table setting; contrasting colors set each other off and go together excellently, and primary colors almost always look good together. Besides that, it is important to evaluate how fine your dishes and utensils should be; you should refer to your event’s overall theme and level of refinement.

Place Settings

You can be as particular as you’d like with your place settings, but beware of how specific the rules can get! There are rules governing the distance the plates have to be from the edge of the table, how much the tablecloth can hang over the edge of the table, how far apart the utensils should be placed from one another; the list goes on, and one. If you don’t think you can tackle these specifications on top of everything else you need to organize for your event, try the basics. If you’re serving more than one course, your guests should have a fresh plate and utensils for each one. You can lay out the flatware for each course at the beginning of the meal like it is traditionally done, or they can be replaced when needed.

The Centerpiece

If you’ve been to a wedding or any formal dinner, you are most definitely familiar with centerpieces. They can be great and enhance the theme of the event, but they can also be very bad. It’s one thing if the centerpiece doesn’t match the theme and colors of the event, but it can often impact the actual experience of the guests while they dine. Centerpieces can sometimes be too large and tall for the table they are put on; they can impede conversation and make the dinner feel too crowded and awkward.

Your Menu

While it is not technically part of the table setting, your menu is certainly an important component to consider. If it’s a fairly formal event, you may not want to include food that is too awkward to eat or is meant to be eaten with your hands. If your menu requires special utensils, be sure to include those as well. Lastly, you’ll want to ensure that your menu matches your theme and table settings; try to make it as cohesive an experience as possible. You can provide your guests with a menu card at the beginning of the meal that lays out all of the courses, as well.

Do you think you’d be able to tackle formal table settings, or would you hand that job off to someone else?