How to Set a Formal Table with Simple Table Setting in 5 Easy Steps

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Learn the 5 easy steps to setting a formal table’s guaranteed to wow your guests. This simple table setting can be used for all sorts of events – from dinner with friends to large holiday gatherings.

Tutorial for how to set a simple table setting that wows your guests.

Have I told you all how much I love setting a table?

The process of designing and creating a tablescape that leaves people lingering at the table for hours is one of my favorite things of all time…

So, I thought it would be fun, not only to share some pictures of our Easter table from last weekend with you, but to also give you the simple steps I typically follow when setting a formal table!

That way, you can give it a shot next time you have people over for a large meal. I hope this helps you realize how EASY it is to set a beautiful table that leaves your friends and family feeling welcome and comfortable. ๐Ÿ™‚

RELATED: EASTER BRUNCH TABLESCAPE WITH AFFORDABLE DECOR

What I love about simple table settings:

  • It makes your guests feel special!
  • It’s a way of “decorating” for your meal.
  • Atmosphere is just as important as taste when it comes to a formal dinner! ๐Ÿ˜‰

HOW TO SET A
FORMAL DINNER TABLE WITH A
SIMPLE TABLE SETTING
IN 5 EASY STEPS

STEP 1: Start with a soft layer.

The first thing you want to do when setting a table is add a table cloth, runner or place mats. This layer adds warmth and comfort to the tablescape.

On our Easter table, I actually ended up using a tablecloth folded in thirds to give the appearance of a runner because our table is oddly wide and the tablecloth I had wasn’t quite wide enough. For our Christmas table I even used a faux fur throw as our runner! You can definitely get creative with this step. ๐Ÿ˜‰

STEP 2: Anchor and set your centerpiece.

When doing a simple centerpiece like a bouquet, or even a grouping of things, I like to ground or anchor the centerpiece with something underneath it. You can use a tray like shown here, or other things I’ve used are large 12×12 pieces of paper, cloth napkins unfolded and laid out, or mirrors.

STEP 3: Layer your plates.

Start with the dinner plates and then stack the salad plates on top of those. I like to use two different colored plates for these to add visual interest.

In this tablescape, I chose to use the dinner plates from my fine china and top them with blush-colored salad plates (which we actually ended up using for dessert since I didn’t serve a formal salad!)

Step 4: Use cloth napkins.

It’s amazing how much more formal and “put-together” a tablescape feels when there are cloth napkins rather than paper. Try simply folding them and gently tucking them between your plates hanging over the edge of the table.

You don’t have to use super expensive cloth napkins either – I got these gray ones on Amazon for around $1/napkin.

Step 5: Add decorative glasses.

I typically set the table with wine glasses because I like the height it adds to the place settings, but you can choose to add any style of glasses you like.

As you can see here, I chose to use small, pink glasses for our Easter table.

Step 5: Place the silverware.

Lastly, add silverware to each place setting and you’re done!

I don’t always set all pieces of silverware – for example, we didn’t need spoons for Easter dinner so I just left those out.

That’s it! Wasn’t that easy?? 5 simple steps and you’ve got a beautiful table your guests will want to linger at for hours. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are a few final shots of our Easter table:

Have fun putting together your simple table setting and be sure to tag your social media pictures using #joyfulderivatives! As always, let me know if you have any questions.

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