Tablescapes: Thanksgiving Edition

Author: Hemishka Lobin

Published: November 17, 2022

1621 was where it all started: the autumn harvest feast we call Thanksgiving. This is the day when we are thankful for every blessing in our life, when we invite friends and family into our homes, and when we cherish quality time together.

For this year’s Thanksgiving celebrations, you can switch up the game with a sophisticated, regal touch for your big meal. Instead of your default, run-of-the-mill table setting, set a goal to focus your theme on the more fanciful side. This, and a combination of formal table etiquette for mealtime, will show your guests how much extra effort you put into this special occasion. The atmosphere you create is just as important as the food! Below are tips, tricks, and holiday inspiration for creating the perfect Thanksgiving dinner space.



Thanksgiving Print Cards

Creating a regal, extra-fancy dinner atmosphere begins long before the food arrives. One way of doing so is by using printable (or handwritten if you’re feeling sentimental) Thanksgiving print cards. On these cards, you can write the full names of your guests to make your setting elegant and set the mood of your guests. As an extra bonus, the assigned seating that comes with name cards adds a pop of formality.




Cutlery and Serving Dishes

Next comes the dishware. Some colors that are recognized as more formal include gold, silver, white, dusty pink, navy blue, and black. To stay consistent, it is recommended to use the same color and dish material between bowls and plates. The silverware can be the same or a similar color as the dishes to keep a uniform theme. For dish material, something on the sturdier side is best (such as metal, porcelain, hardy plastic, and more).

For laying out dishes, there are two lines of thought: you can either have all the dishes out to start, or add them as the meal continues. If you want to start with all the dishes on the table, you can stack them at each seat. Start with the largest plate on the bottom, and stack the plates up until the smallest is on top. If you are using bowls, you can finish with the bowl at the very top of the plate stack. If you are bringing out additional dishes with each course, the extra dishes can stay in the kitchen or at one end of the table until they are ready to be used. For silverware, there is no specific placement between forks, spoons, and knives – as long as the placement is the same at each seat!





To stay on par with the regal theme, you can use linen napkins instead of paper towels or cotton. Linen is soft to the touch and easily washable. Now, the napkin color will vary depending on the color of the dishware used. Lighter color napkins work well with darker dishes, and vice versa. If you’re super into the Thanksgiving spirit, patterned napkins can add a burst of holiday cheer to the table!




Table Décor

You can play with a wide range of colors at your table, so mix and match away! Table décor can include a tablecloth, candles and candle holders, garland, greenery, flowers, and vases. You can play around with sizing when it comes to candles, vases, and more: it all depends on where you want the focus to be at your table. For a realistic look, you can use real candles, flowers, and garland. However, real plants can be hard to get during Thanksgiving, so faux flowers and garlands are a helpful substitute.




All the items and décor that you’ve used in previous years can be repurposed or recycled. If you don’t want the same tablescape for next year, then you have another year of fun planning and prepping. You can use the same things with just a little twist to them, or add even more to give your theme an extra boost.

Have a safe, fun, and wonderful Thanksgiving!