You are planning a great birthday or the absolute dream wedding? From the charming garden brunch to the festive gala dinner: We have some professional tips for your perfect dinner party. Bring your table to shine!
The table is the secret star of the evening. Without it there would be no dinner. He’s like the stage technician of a great show: we usually are unaware of him, but if he does his job poorly, the show will be a disaster.
So what table do you need? Here the number of guests is important: Is there enough space for everyone? To find out, it helps to symbolically place one plate for each guest on the table. If the table is too small, you will need a larger table. Those who do not have the opportunity to get a bigger table for the event, will add a second one. This is often a sensitive issue:
The people at the second table should not feel like second-class guests on a “children’s table”. Here are some golden rules to help you out:
- Both tables should be identical and not wobble
- They should stand close to each other
- And be decorated absolutely identical: If the tables themselves look very different, it helps to use two identical tablecloths for both tables. Is there a furrow between the tables, for example, because the table edges are rounded outward, or because the tables are not exactly equal, you should not try to stretch a single tablecloth over both tables. During the evening, glasses will otherwise be placed by mistake into the furrow and in the end there will be a red wine–flooding.
- The seating arrangement should mix the different guests on both tables: So do not place the friends to one table and yourself with the relatives to the other, but mix them. If there are multiple hosts, they should be split to both tables. So you can entertain all guests equally.
How To Place The Tableware
The position of the dishes is the framework for the table decoration. What courses will be served and what dishes and cutlery are available for it? After listing them, you start with the actual arrangement. The plate is the center of each place setting. Left and right of him is the cutlery. The cutlery is on the side with which it is gripped in each case. So normally forks left, knife and soup spoon right. If there is a left-handed among the guests, it may also be arranged the other way round for them. Often the guests are quite surprised by so much attention and the ice breaks more quickly.
For drinking, you usually use the right hand, so the glasses are arranged in the same manner: The water glass is the first one to place, right hand to the plate. All other glasses are arranged in chronological order on the left side of the water glass, shifted up one level. So at the highest point there is the glass that is needed at last.
The Tablecloth Trick
Tablecloth yes or no? For many people, the tablecloth just has to be part of a festive table. If the table has an exceptional top, it would be a shame to hide it under a cloth. A stylish compromise is to drape the tablecloth around the decoration and wrap it around some high candlesticks to stage it very baroque and luxuriant. Like this, many areas of the tabletop remain visible, but the tablecloth can still unfold its festive effect.
The Decoration Concept
Basically a color concept helps a lot for the decoration. If the concept is limited to a maximum of two colors, it ensures a quiet and harmonious overall picture that does not steal the food’s show. This safe version is optimal for business and representative occasions.
Our decorative example from this year’s dinner of May Queen, however, shows the fresh contrary: Bright colors, numerous accessories and small provocations cheer up the table discussions. Good mood guaranteed – as long as it’s on the right occasion.
When choosing the color, you should consider your decorative theme. Baroque, Glamour & Glitter or charming Vintage look. If the menu includes a special course like venison, the table decoration could for example be based on a fairy tale forest theme with tree branches, moss and pine cones.
The great thing about this: The decoration brings the fresh scent of forest to the table. Speaking of fragrance: table arrangements with oranges and flowers have the same sensual effect. Fresh flowers loosen up an opulent table and give lightness to it.
Decorative accessories such as decorative figures or candle holders can underline the festive occasion, inspire, perhaps even be a helper for the first table chats. It should never, however, prevent the guest from connecting. Guests who sit face to face want to see each other. Large, massive vases or high arrangements should therefore be positioned at the end of the table. Low objects can easily stand in the middle.