If you are planning on giving a dinner party, you might want to know how to set a table properly. A dinner party is a great way to eliminate the winter blues and does not have to be expensive to throw. When you throw a dinner party, you can choose to have a buffet style dinner or a sit down dinner. If you choose a sit down dinner, which is a bit more formal, then take the following tips to set the table:
Use a tablecloth
You will want to use a tablecloth that encompasses the entire table. You can purchase a cheap table cloth from a discount store or even use a sheet, tying the ends of the sheet to the table legs with ribbons to make it more attractive. To break the tablecloth up, you can add a smaller table cloth or even a runner, which will make it more decorative.
Use a lighted centerpiece
Candles make the ideal centerpiece for a dinner party. Indeed, you really cannot have a dinner party without incorporating candles. If you are cramped for space and want to put some food on the table, you can eliminate the centerpiece and use candlesticks. While eating dinner by candlelight may seem to be very elegant and is the epitome of romance, you will want to be sure your guests have plenty of light so that they can actually see their food. If you are lighting with candles only, use plenty of them. Do not use scented candles as they will interfere with the taste of the food.
Know how to make a place setting
If you are using charger plates, put them on the bottom. The dinner plates go next and then the salad plates on top. The bread plate goes to the upper left and the water and wine glass go slightly to the left before the bread plate. You can also place the bread plate on top of the salad plate, to save room. Forks on the left with the salad fork on the outside. Knives on the right with a separate knife for butter, salad and the main course. Dessert spoons and forks can go above the plate placed horizontally. You can keep dessert plates and coffee or tea cup and saucer in the kitchen, or you can place them to the right. Fold a napkin in a fan style and place it in the center of the plates. If you do not know how to do this, fold the napkin diagonally and put it under the forks. There are plenty of folding patterns that you can learn online using napkins that tend to make your table all the more elegant.
Make sure that you have enough place settings for each guest. Years ago, it was customary to have an equal number of men and women at the table, but this is not so anymore. Nor do you need to bother with place cards.
Set the table ahead of time when you are preparing for a dinner party so that you will have more time with your guests. Having a dinner party is fun and your guests will be thrilled to engage in this once very popular custom that is experiencing a bit of a revival.