It’s always a good time when we can catch up with our friends at Fox 5 DC. Last year we had the chance to offer Thanksgiving tips on how to decorate your table. This year was just as giving. We stopped by the studio to show you the difference between a formal and informal Thanksgiving dinner.

ThanksgivingTips: Table Decor Basics

Determine what type of table setting you want to have – formal vs informal

Whenever I begin to plan a corporate reception the first thing I consider is what is going to be served. When you know what you will serve, you can instantly know if it’s going to be formal or informal. Here’s a quick breakdown of what a formal and informal dinner party looks like.

Informal Thanksgiving Reception:

  1. Has no more than 3 courses
  2. Uses the least amount of tableware
  3. All flatware (forks, knives, spoons) are placed on the table at once
  4. Mainly consists of 1-2 glasses

Informal Place Setting

Formal Thanksgiving Reception:

  1. Has more than 3 courses
  2. Includes a charger or service plate as the foundation of the setting.
  3. Has flatware specifically for each course being served. Many times your flatware comes and goes with each course
  4. Consists of a water, red wine, white, wine, and champagne glass (if all will be served).

thanksgiving-tip-Formal-Place-Setting-andrew-roby-events Formal Place Setting

Determine what you currently have available before you go shopping

Now that you know the difference between a formal and informal place setting, it’s time to go shopping. The first place to visit is your kitchen. Yes, there is no need to purchase things you already have. This is a cost saving tip unless you simply must have new tableware. After doing inventory, make a list of what you need to purchase. Maybe your dinner party is for 8 people, but you only have enough for 6.

You also want to look at your menu. Do you have enough service equipment to serve each meal? One common mistake is not having enough serving utensils. It’s not proper etiquette to have one serving utensil for more than one dish. You also want to have a cohesive look between your stemware, flatware, and plates.

How to build your Thanksgiving table design?

Now that you have all of your Thanksgiving décor items, it’s time to build your table. I always like to start in the center and work my way out. If you plan to have flowers or even the main dish in the center, build around that to ensure you have space. Blue Lace Cakes created a ham which was actually a cake for the segment. Watch video below.

From there, place your chargers or dinner plates on the table and adjust accordingly. These should be 1 inch from the edge of your table. Based on the route, formal or informal, you can lay out everything else. I recommend leaving room for small décor pieces if you want to enhance your table.

If you want us to decorate your home or table for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s Eve, contact us now.

Check out our video below if you missed our Thanksgiving tips on air.