Every friend group has a Monica Geller.
You know the one – the hostess with the mostess among you and your girls. I know this because, while you may know me as a blogger and certified wedding planner, Monica Geller (mixed with Joanna Gaines!) is my spirit animal. My heart for hosting has been beating since I was a little girl.
My heart for hosting was actually the heart behind launching my business. This mission of mine is really to help all of you be intentional on creating spaces to gather and celebrating life’s precious moments. Whether that be your upcoming wedding, a party, or even something as simple as having loved ones in your home, it’s about making memories that last a lifetime. And if there’s any time of the year where you’re most likely to gather and make memories with your loved ones, it’s the holidays.
live simply, love generously, host with heart
In all seriousness, when it comes to hosting your loved ones for the holidays, there’s a lot of pressure for perfection put on people. It’s honestly not talked about enough how we’re trained by social media to ‘Go Big or Go Home.’ But, it’s not about perfection. It’s not about being the Pinterest perfect hostess with the perfect tablescape and hot cocoa bar. In the end, it’s about gathering together, loving on one another, and making memories. Making an impression on your guests is a lot more simple than you think. (It just takes a little more love!) I’m a firm believer that it’s the little things that you can do to step up your holiday hosting game that make all the difference. That’s why my philosophy is and always will be to live simply, love generously, and host with heart.
“They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” – Acts 2:46
If you’ve had the pleasure of getting to meet with me in person (because we all know it’s a pleasure – HA!), it was probably over a cup of coffee or a meal. There’s just something about the level of conversation that happens and the memories made over a meal or cup of coffee that I love so much. Maybe I’m just weird, but some of my favorite memories were made sitting around a table. It is always why I put a little more attention and love into the food and the table each time I host.
How-To Set Your Table Like A Professional This Holiday Season
Setting your table is probably one of the most simple steps you can take to leave a lasting impression on your guests. It sets the tone for the meal and it’s the first thing they’ll notice when they walk in your dining room. Not to mention, you can do it with what you already have in your home! So, whether this is your first year hosting the holidays or you’re sticking to just a dinner party with the girls, you’ll be a tablescape pro by the end of this blog post!
Basic / Casual Setting
When it comes to a casual, basic place setting, it’s all about the basics. See what I did there? All you need is a dinner plate (center), a dinner fork (left), a dinner knife (right, with the blade facing the plate), a spoon (right), a beverage glass (top right), and a napkin. With this type of setting, don’t feel like you have to put out extra utensils if they aren’t needed. Save yourself the dishes and spend more time socializing after dinner with your guests.
Take your basic tablesetting to a slightly more elegant level while keeping it light and informal with the addition of just a few utensils.
- Salad Fork – far left
- Soup Spoon – far right
- Wine Glass – top right, next to water/beverage glass
Taking your tablesetting to the most elegant level is actually a lot more simple than you’d think. If you think it’s intimidating to set a formal table, remember that it just takes the addition of utensils and a few more dishes. Make sure to pin the image below for a quick reference to save you time later!
- Salad Plate – on top of the dinner plate
- White Wine Glass – top right, next to each beverage/water glass
- Red Wine Glass – top right, next to the white wine glass
- Bread Plate + Bread Knife – top left
- Dessert Fork – top center, facing right
- Dessert Spoon – top center, facing left
- Charger Plate – beneath dinner plate
- Place Card – top center
- Cup and Saucer – far right
One thing I love to include in any tablesetting, regardless of how formal or informal, is a charger plate beneath the dinner plate. While charger plates are typically reserved for more elegant and formal settings, I love how their addition brings each setting to life and gives them a simple yet beautiful touch that completes the table. Another thing I love to do is to play with the napkin fold. Whether you lay it elegantly off the table, dress it up with a napkin ring, or experiment with a fancy fold, get creative!
But, it’s your table.
Before you get stressed out on the technicality of setting the perfect table, it’s important to remember that there are literally more ways to set a table than you can count. Because, while everyone may try to follow the basic guidelines, everyone does it a tad differently. You don’t have to stick strictly to basic, informal, or formal settings. I often set mine as some version in between the three! Ultimately, set your table to meet the needs of the meal you’re sharing.
Whether you’re setting your table casual or formal this holiday season or maybe even somewhere in between, it’s your table. What’s important are the people you’re sitting around it with.