Tips for a Festive Setting
Map Out Your Table. Draw it on paper. Be realistic about your table space and aware of your agenda. Will you be serving family style? How much space will you need for each place setting and all of your menu items? Chances are, your main course will double as your “star” centerpiece. Knowing what you will already have on the table will give you an idea of how much room you have to play with for other décor items.
Use Seasonal Elements. This is what makes it a holiday table, after all. Add seasonal elements that are also functional, or spruce up the presentation of your menu. This can be as easy and inexpensive as adding fresh produce — a small bowl of cranberries or a variety of pomegranates, oranges, and plums — to elevate the overall look. Tie up a loaf of bread with string and a rosemary sprig, or add a handful of cranberries to the perimeters of dishes.
Mix and Match. Play with dinnerware and decor. Remember, not everything has to match perfectly! I love the look that varying heights, sizes, and textures can create. Candlesticks in assorted heights or napkins in alternating colors napkins can also be a fun play on setting. My personal favorite is mix-matched clear glassware and varying gold flatware sets.
Florals/Greens. There really is no replacement for a seasonal arrangement of florals or a fresh-cut pine garland to complete the look of a winter holiday table. If space is limited, try multiple smaller arrangements or small sprigs of green or berries at each place setting.
Personalize. Know your guests, and make them feel special. Printed menus and name cards make guests feel welcome and offer a personalized final touch to complete the look of each place setting. :