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Place Setting Template for Informal and Formal Gatherings

Here is a quick and friendly place setting template on how to set a dinner table. It is perfect for holiday tables, formal or informal gatherings.

Dinner Place Setting Template

Place Setting Template

Table, Decor and the Menu

Create a  tablescape: 
Your table helps set the tone for the evening. You can’t go wrong with fresh flowers, candles, and music to add to the ambiance. For a formal gathering go for larger florals and for an informal gathering go with smaller arrangements. Use unscented candles and lower the lights a bit to create ambiance.

Plates and utensils: 
Dinner parties are often the perfect excuse to break out your cherished china and heirloom silver. You can mix and match different pieces as you wish, however the most important part is that it speaks to you. And don’t forget to use the place setting template above! 

Menu cards: 
This is a nice touch to have so your guest know what they are being served, and it also helps to add to the overall vibe of your gathering.

Before your guest arrive: 
If possible, set up music, drink service, and all appetizers in a room besides your kitchen. This will allow you to move around and access your kitchen freely and quickly as the night progresses.   

Seating Arrangements

Place cards:
Use place cards only when hosting more than six guests, otherwise you may appear a little controlling. Write the full name of each guest on the place card.

Seating arrangements: 
You can go about this a few different ways. I think it really comes down to your guest list and their personalities. The older, more traditional approach was to seat by gender and relationship – boy-girl-boy-girl, as well as no couples seated together. Today we’re finding that it’s more commonplace to seat guests by personality style and common interests. I still do like to separate couples, as I have noticed the conversation is a bit livelier. 

*If you notice a guest looks put out by where you’ve seated them, do some discreet legwork and re-seat them as quickly as possible. Make an excuse like, “Oops, I meant to put you over there.”

Seating guests of honor: 
If you have a guest of honor, for example a boss, an elderly relative, or a celebrity, then there are etiquette rules to follow. A female guest of honor sits to the right of the host, while a male guest of honor sits to the left of the hostess. 

Large dinner parties

If you’re hosting a large dinner party with groups of tables, have a seating list or guide at the entrance to the room. A useful tool for larger events: Perfect Table Plan

For more check out my How To Guides!

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