How to set a perfect Thanksgiving table
It’s almost turkey time, but you can still plan a perfect Thanksgiving — and I’m not talking about that bird and all the sides and desserts, although those are clearly important.
I’m here to tell you how to set the perfect dinner table for your Thanksgiving festivities. Don’t worry — I promise even your mother-in-law will be impressed.
It all comes down to, yet again, layering. So pull up a chair — or two or 10 — and let me share my secrets for an amazing Thanksgiving your family and friends will never forget.
Place food and drinks on a buffet
First up, don’t put everything on the dinner table. It’s too much. Everything is crammed and everyone is reaching over each other and passing dishes around, all wishing they were blessed with eight arms instead of two. And something inevitably gets knocked over along the way.
You can also use this guideline for drinks by setting up a complete bar on the other side so you’re not lugging out wine glasses, coffee cups, champagne flutes, old-fashioned or other drinking glasses and water glasses for every place setting. People can choose what they want to get — and you can still keep a wine decanter on the table so refills are a little easier.
If you want to have a little more fun with drinks, make some festive ice cubes with pomegranate seeds. These are great in mulled wine or cider. And you can also gin up your own signature cocktail. I even have one this year myself: an adult apple cider:
Lighting and floral & greenery centerpieces help set the mood
Florals and greenery are a great way to add texture to the table — and a fresh aroma. And you don’t have to go far to find them. Just get outside and cut some branches and put them up. Herbs are also nice because they pair well with all the smells from the food. You can even start sprinkling in some winter white into your florals since we’re about to jump right into the Christmas holiday season.
Just make sure whatever you put up is kept at a low height so you’re not blocking conversations across the table — unless you don’t like them and in that case break out the tall branches to avoid those awkward discussions.
When it comes to lighting, make sure you have a variety at different levels. Your overhead lighting, whether it’s a chandelier or not, should be on a dimmer. You can then layer in different levels of candles so that you have some taper and some tealight candles, including a tealight or votive at every placesetting if you want.
If you’re worried about someone setting the house on fire, just get battery powered candles instead. Either way, avoid scented candles because it will just be overwhelming with all the other food aromas in the room. No one wants that much pumpkin spice smell on top of your turkey, potatoes and pumpkin pies.
You can even combine the florals and candles into a stunning centerpiece,
Go all out with your dishware
When it comes to dinnerware on the Thankgiving table, there’s really never too much. You can have a full tablecloth and still use a charger with your plates on top. And throw in a placemat underneath the charger if you want. You can swap out a table runner for the tablecloth if you like or even layer a runner on top of the tablecloth. It all just adds a layer of depth and the more you add the prettier the table gets. You can even have some more fun and add some cool copper flatware. And don’t forget to add some nice napkins.
Just make sure you stick with one color scheme. We tend to use a range of metallics and ivorys to coppers and also accessorize with some black and some greenery. Bright orange isn’t our favorite, but if you love it, go for it and consider using some turquoise, jade or navy to match with it. Or do a rust orange and play with that instead.
Love these ideas but don’t have time to order new decor before the holidays? Check out our last minute Thanksgiving table setting ideas using items you probably have around your house!
At the end of the day, it’s all about setting a table you love and then welcoming your family and friends to gather.