This year, we’re more grateful than ever to spend Thanksgiving with our friends, family, and loved ones. If you’re hosting turkey day and need a little help perfecting your fall tablescape, follow our step-by-step guide to make it as festive as ever.
Step One: Make a Guest List
If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner, the first thing you need is a headcount. See who is coming, who is bringing kids, and make sure to ask about any food allergies.
Step Two: Arrange Your Seating
Now that you know who is coming, it’s time to make sure you have ample seating for everyone. This is where extendable dining tables and dining benches come in handy (you might want to dust off those folding chairs from the basement just in case).
Step Three: Plan Your Meal and Your Tablescape
Here’s where the fun starts. Not everything Thanksgiving has to be the same. The menu and décor for a family of 15 may be completely different than a small Friendsgiving of five. Brainstorm your menu, color scheme, and tabletop décor based on your tastes, traditions, and the ambiance you want to create for the evening. Simple and comfortable or elegant and chic: there’s no wrong way to celebrate.
Step Four: Lay Down the Linens
Now that you have a theme, set the foundation with linens. Whether it’s a neutral-colored tablecloth, a runner and placemats, or a little bit of everything, linens not only let you express your style, but they can save your tabletop from stains. And napkins? You can set them now or save them to decorate after you place your dishes.
Step Five: Set the Dinnerware
While proper place settings may seem too formal for your group, it’s a simple way to elevate your tablescape. Start with your dinner plate at the center. Add a salad plate or small dish for sides right on top. Along the left side, add the dinner fork and salad fork. On the right, place a knife and a spoon. Align the bottom of the silverware with the bottom of the plate. Ta-da!
Step Six: Set the Glassware
At a large meal like Thanksgiving, you’re most likely going to want to include a water glass and one or two wine glasses. Start simple. Put the water glass to the upper right on the plate, above your knife a spoon. Next, add a wine glass at an angle to the upper right of the water glass. Build on this design if you need to add more stemware.
Step Seven: Set the Serving Dishes
One rookie mistake a lot of people make at Thanksgiving is waiting until it’s time to eat to make room for serving dishes. Check to make sure there is enough room for your platters, bowls and gravy boats before dinner is served.
Step Eight: Add Decorative Details
Once you get all the necessities out of the way, you can really start to decorate. If you’re hosting a quaint gathering, a centerpiece with fall florals, dried stems, and unscented candles is a beautiful touch. If you’re hosting a larger gathering, you may want to try scattering votives and vases down the table in various heights. No matter how you style your table, remember it’s your time to shine.
Everyone knows that hosting a Thanksgiving feast is a lot of work, and if you’re doing it this year, we commend you! We hope these steps have helped take one thing off your plate. Remember this time of year is about being thankful for all we have, so don’t stress the details. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and thank you for letting us share our stories with you.