Place Setting Like Pro!
A well thought out place setting is one of the greatest ways you can make guests feel welcome at your event while also enhancing decor. There are a number of ways to customize a setting: adorning them with take-home gifts and favors, or special messages are popular. And while these are nice gestures, if you are on a budget, these are not critical in establishing a feeling of care and attention for your guests when they take a seat. However you choose to do it, remember that your place-setting is a fantastic way to establish your tabletop in your overall decor scheme. Here are some helpful tips and some advice to help you style a winning place-setting:
#1 - Incorporate your color palette
Remember to layer bright/light and dark/rich colors so they play well against one another and pop your accent color choices. I call this the 'Oreo Effect' Because place settings border your table edges, the effect of smart layering can provide strong visual impact across your event space as a whole.
Tip for budgets: Work with the venues neutral tabletop linens and use napkins, chargers, and small accessories to enhance your color scheme.
#2 - Cutlery, glassware, and napkins tell the story. A place setting will tell guests what to expect from the meal ahead. The quantity of plates, cutlery, and napkins - and even their placement - subconsciously tells guests whether to expect plated service with how many courses, and/or family style or buffet service options. The more we know what to expect, the more comfortable we are to just enjoy and take it all in.
Tip for budgets: Unless you are planning a high-end, formal service, forego the elaborate china and cutlery patterns and opt for cleaner, streamlined options to suggest a more modern or sophisticated feel.
#3 - Accessorize! Just like a necklace or make-up can enhance a simple outfit, so can accessories you use when place-setting. The pattern of china, quality of cutlery, and type of glassware can set a level of formality and elegance to your decor. Additionally, pieces such as charger plates, menus, or napkin rings can also upgrade your tablescape. Tip for budgets: Think outside the box to create a look. Accessorizing does not have to result in formal - look for unique materials to enhance your setting and bring out a theme. Try tying strips of fabric or twine around napkins instead of napkin rings, or cut your own placemats from thick paper or non-fraying fabric in lieu of chargers.
#4 - Dedicate Seating for Guests Dedicating a seat for each guest shows you took time to think about them. At an event, it's easy to feel as though you are just one in a crowd and a little out of place. The ultimate consideration a host can show guests is that you planned a place for them to be....that they belong. Tip for budgets: In lieu of escort and place cards, try just having table general table assignments for guests to choose their own seat at a designated table. Forego the print costs and draw up a chart on a board, glass panel, window, or mirror with chalk pens, listing each guest names and what table they are to sit at.