The Beginner's Guide to Elegant Table Settings

Posted: 16 June 2023

With this beginner's guide to elegant table settings, you now have the tools and inspiration to create captivating dining spreads for any occasion. From selecting the perfect table cloth and napkins to adding thoughtful touches with centerpieces and lighting, every element plays a role in setting the mood and creating lasting memories with friends and family. So, pull up a chair, let your creativity flow, and dine in style as you embark on your journey of hosting unforgettable gatherings.

Setting an elegant table is an art form that can transform a simple meal into a captivating dining experience.

Whether you're hosting a dinner party or planning a romantic evening in, the right table setting can set the mood and elevate the ambiance of your gathering. In this beginner's guide, we will walk you through the essential elements of an elegant table setting, providing you with tips and ideas to create memorable moments with your loved ones.

1. Choosing the Perfect Tablecloth

The foundation of any beautiful table setting is a high-quality table cloth. Explore different fabrics, colours, and patterns to find the one that complements your dining space and the occasion. Measure your table accurately to ensure the table cloth fits properly. A general guideline is to allow for a 6-12 inch overhang on all sides. You can also experiment with layering by adding a contrasting table cloth to create visual interest.

Pictured here is our Table Cloth in Sage and Napkins in Natural

2. Selecting Chic Napkins and Napkin Rings

Napkins are more than just a practical necessity; they can be a stylish accessory that adds sophistication to your table. Do a quick google search for various folding techniques such as the classic pyramid fold, the elegant pocket fold, or the creative fan fold and creative ways to display napkin rings, adding an elegant touch to each place setting. Choose napkin rings that complement your table setting. Options range from simple metal rings to more ornate designs like beaded or wooden rings.

Pictured here is our Table Cloth in Ivy Gingham and Napkins in Ivy Gingham

3. Choosing the Perfect Dinnerware and Cutlery

Explore different types of dinnerware and cutlery, from classic and formal to modern and minimalist, to find the style that best suits your personal taste and the occasion. Classic white porcelain or a neutral hued handmade porcelain is versatile and timeless, while patterned or coloured plates can add a touch of personality. Ensure that each place setting includes a dinner plate, salad plate, and appropriate glassware for water and wine. Arrange the cutlery in the order it will be used, starting from the outside and working inward with each course. Remember to include the appropriate utensils for serving dishes.

4. Enhancing the Ambiance with Centerpieces and Décor

A well-chosen centerpiece can be the focal point of your table setting, creating a captivating atmosphere. Choose a centerpiece that suits the occasion and table size – it can be a floral arrangement, a collection of candles, a statement piece, or even a themed decoration element that adds charm and sophistication to your dining table. It is also key to experiment with different heights and textures to add dimension to your table.

Pictured here is our Table Cloth in Milk and Napkins in Marine Blue Stripe

5. Setting the Mood with Lighting and Candles

The right lighting can transform your dining experience from ordinary to extraordinary. To achieve the perfect balance between brightness and intimacy, use candles strategically to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Opt for unscented candles to avoid clashing with the aroma of your food and consider using candle holders or lanterns to add elegance and protect your table from dripping wax.

6. Adding the Final Flourish with Place Cards and Menu Cards

Take your table setting to the next level by incorporating place cards and menu cards. Learn how to create personalised place settings that make your guests feel special and appreciated. Make things personal and inviting by including guest names on the place cards to indicate assigned seating or use them to showcase a thoughtful quote or message for each guest – it’s always the thought that counts. You can be even more fanciful and design menu cards that match your overall table theme, listing the courses or describing the dishes being served to add a touch of sophistication and keep guests informed.

Pictured here is our Table Cloth in Marine Blue Stripe and Napkins in Milk