Planning for Thanksgiving can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. Between the food you need to prepare to organizing the house for visitors, your table décor sometimes becomes an afterthought. The funny thing is that you might just have all the things you need to make a beautiful tablescape right in your own home. Let’s discuss.
Step One: Use What You Have
For a stress-free day, go simple on the dishes. No need to go out and buy a whole new set. Have white dinnerware? This is the perfect time to pull it out. Not only are white plates beautifully neutral, using white will also allow you to maximize usage of your own serveware. You can then incorporate color and theme through flowers, napkins, décor, and details.
Step Two: Mix and Match Station
On the week of Thanksgiving, go through the serveware you already own and see what works together. Have a mix of wood pieces and white porcelain that you use regularly? Perfect! Wood adds a nice warm touch to the display and pairs perfectly with the white dishes. Put the serveware you’ll be using out on the table for your station. Make a list as to which pieces are going to be used for what. For example, if you have a large platter that could work for the turkey and a wood bowl that would be perfect for bread buns, write it down. The goal is to take inventory of what you have versus what you might need to buy or borrow.
After you’ve taken inventory, you might find that you still want to add an extra hint of Thanksgiving. Pick up some pumpkin serveware at Crate and Barrel or even Marshall's or TJ Maxx to add that pumpkin element.
Step Three: Create Levels
Now that you’ve pulled out your favorite pieces, you might notice everything is looking a little flat on the table. No problem! Head over to your nearest Michaels and purchase some wooden crates. You can then place items at different heights to create levels within the station. Ever been to a buffet? Think about how certain items were higher than the others. Place messier items lower on the table to limit spillage.
Now that you have your levels ready, continue to set the mood. A great way to do this is though incorporating floral elements to anchor the buffet. You could do this by adding two tall arrangements around the main dish or by adding small seasonal floral elements around the different platters.
Now, your station is almost done. Our last station tip: don't add utensils and napkins here. Leave them at the table. Guests already have enough to carry and it will help move the line along faster.
Step Four: Make It Memorable
The secret to a beautiful tablescape? Layer, layer, layer. Have rattan chargers you never use? Pull them out and add your white dinner plate and salad plate on top. Have two similarly colored runners that might pair well together? Layer them and see how you like how they look together. Now, add the glassware, flatware, napkin, and your weekly House of Lilac flowers. Use a napkin that pulls from the color of the runner or the flowers. In this case, the Helena Henna linen napkin from Crate and Barrel was used to pull the red-orangey color from the magnolia leaves in the House of Lilac florals. See any gaps in the table that you’re not loving? Add candles, mini pumpkins, or other elements until you find that you love the look.
Final Pro Tip: In the weeks before, you might want to consider creating a seating arrangement with place cards. If you’re married, think about the seating arrangements you made for your reception. You did it so that like-minded people would sit together, and it would make for a nice atmosphere. Same principle applies here. If you know that your Dad will inevitably argue with your uncle about politics, perhaps it’s best if they sit at different ends or different tables, depending on how big your celebration is. This will help keep those pesky family arguments at bay. Once you know where you want everyone to sit, order your place cards from Jess at Salvaging Eden then tie them to the napkin as shown. Set up your tablescapes and stations the night before for an easy Thanksgiving morning.
Thanksgiving can be stressful, but it’s also a time to celebrate not only who you have to be thankful for, but also what you have. So many times, we get so caught up in making sure everything is perfect that we forget that we might just already have everything we need to create the perfect moment right in our own homes.
Michelle Ferrer is an Event Producer and Certified Wedding Planner with over a decade of experience. Her company, Smitten Co, is launching soon. Follow along on Instagram @smittenbride and SmittenCo.com.