Hello you lovely lot, this week’s blog post is all about my favourite thing - tablescapes. Within my wedding design and styling, my favourite thing to design and style is the tables. My elegant and romantic wedding styling calls for a soft and sophisticated table design with lots of detail. I also love to use these skills to host dinner parties at home, and always lovingly lay the tables whilst hubby loves doing the cooking. So here are some tips on how to throw an elegant dinner party…
For me, there are three key factors I believe to be important when hosting a dinner party. The first one being the guest experience from when they walk in the door to the very end, then there is the food and of course, the third thing for me is how the tables look. Everyone has different priorities, but I love nothing more than to have spent time and effort creating a beautiful table that works for the setting and the style of meal we are hosting. I love it when my guests are blown away by how the table looks!
When it comes to the food, you don’t have to be all extravagant and spend a fortune. But you will need to factor in a few things - your guests’ tastes and dietary requirements, timings (the last thing you want is to be cooped up in the kitchen or have a huge wait between courses), the style of food as to weather and the day (comforting food in the winter, light in the summer evening etc.) and how it is going to be served. We also like to use the right type of tableware and to make it look pretty if possible.
When laying your tables for your elegant dinner party, think about all of the items needed and the spacing. There will be some essential items, like water, wine, salt & pepper etc. - I like to bring these through at the last minute, so people have seen the pretty table in all its glory before these less desirable but essential items are put on. But make sure you create enough space for these on the table and that your guests will be comfortable when seated and not cramped.
Whilst I’m fully aware that we cannot all employ a florist for our dinner parties, I believe flowers to be an essential part of the table. I always choose flowers in season and in the colours that I will be using in the rest of the table, so ones that work with the linen, plates, etc. and I also choose ones that are soft and elegant, to work with my styling. I love playing with flowers but be careful to not go too elaborate and big with these, otherwise the guests will not be able to see each other and they will just get in the way.
The most important part isn’t really the food or the table design, although if you get those right this will come too. The most important part is your guests’ experience. Be as organised as you can beforehand and have the table laid and as much of the food done as possible. Then from the moment your guests come in the door, look after them - ensure they always have a drink, have nibbles waiting, make them feel at home, keep the conversation going, wow them with your pretty table and ply them with lots of yummy food.
I like to spend lots of effort on my tables, creating an elegantly styled dinner party full of wonderful details - lots of candles, beautiful flowers, a crisp tablecloth, pretty plates, gold cutlery, luxury glassware, coordinating napkins - and I have included lots of details above for you to see what I like to include on my table design and how I create an elegantly styled tablescape. Ultimately think about your guests, wowing them and making them feel like they are being treated, and they’ll much prefer your dinner party to a fancy restaurant meal!
Do you like to throw dinner parties? What’s your favourite thing about them - the food or the tables? Perhaps you are planning to throw an elegant dinner party soon and have picked up some tips here for how you want to design your tables? I’d love to hear all about your plans - send me a message here or feel free to ask me any questions. And if you would like to chat to me about anything relating wedding design and styling, I’d also love to here from you. Thanks for reading, Amy x