I've hosted so many Thanksgiving and eclectic dinner parties through the years and the truth is there's normally a big head count sitting at my tables.
My number one rule when planning any dinner party is that nothing has to be perfect . . . . . But you can make it look like it is!!!!! I like to think of creating a dinner space that is fun, funky, approachable and comforatable. Not everything has to match when you are feeding a lot of people, but here are a few of my tips to help make your Thanksgiving table beautiful, no matter the number of guests.
1. Make Your Guests Laugh. One of my favorite solutions for big dinner parties is having small little details catered to your guest's personalities and sense of humor. I have collected a wide variety of plates form different places, like tag sales, flea markets and fun unexpected retailers. With big parties I think it's fun to have mismatched plates because every plate is unique (and if you break one, no big deal), but what I love the most is having dinnerware that is an unexpected collection to surprise each guest.
A perfect example is a set of (12) 6" appetizer plates to make your table POP!
You can purchase this set or individual appetizer plates HERE!
2. Mismatched chairs are great solution for big dinner parties. Use chairs you have in your home, borrow from your neighbors, or opt for inexpensive color folding chairs like we did at last year's Thanksgiving. Last year we had a lot of new friends and neighbors RSVP, so we opted for the inexpensive chairs to be able to seat everyone comfortably and affordably.
A note on color: balance is key. Having a lot of guests over, we opted to serve buffet-style with with white plates and napkins and incorporated the colors of the folding chairs in the the flowers which were in vase sizes ranging from olive oil jars to mason jars. On the other side, if your plates and your table runner are colorful, keep your flowers green and white (think neutral). I love bringing in natural elements you have in your yard, like leaves from an oak tree, for more of an organic feel. My most important tip for setting a beautiful table is to have a common thread in your color scheme without overdoing it.
3. Write Place Cards! Always write your own place cards, even if your hand-writing is quirky. It makes the setting more personal and your guests will appreciate it.
4. Keep it Simple and Gold! The simplest way to make a table look sophisticated is through clean lines and simple decorations ..... and what is classier than gold for such a special occasion? Using a simple gold charger plate and a hand painted gold pumpkin gives the table an elegance but still playful look. Accent your table with branches painted gold or with berries in a similar color to keep with the color scheme.
5. Printable Placemats! These are so easy and fun to print right at home. Toss some cardstock in your trusty HP and print out a series of these fun vintage-inspired printable placemats.
6. Mini Gourd Candles! Keep the candles tea light size, but a quick, easy and fun table setting that you can do with your kids, friends and family. Also having table light that is low to the table can make conversation easier as well as passing all the food around.
And finally what matters the most is enjoying the day from start to finish. Setting up and decorating can be just as fun as celebrating with your guests.
Happy decorating and gobble gobble!