How To Elevate Your Dinner Party Through Creative Use Of Tablescapes And Place Settings

By Vaishali Shah, Ananya Cards

We all love to go to a dinner party. But let’s face it, hosting the perfect dinner party can be a tad stress inducing and have you reaching for an early glass of wine! 

So here are some tips on how to elevate your dinner party through creative use of tablescapes and place settings. Bon appétit!

  • Create a real sense of occasion by surprising your guests. Do the unexpected. Move the table outdoors and dine under the stars if the weather permits or make your floral arrangement in a champagne bucket rather than a vase.
  • We love to see beautifully dressed tables, and a growing trend is for eco-friendly tableware. Bamboo fibre products have a distinct advantage as they are made from a fast growing tree, are strong, light and biodegradable. They are available in various shades to match with the season of your party – beautiful and eco-friendly!
  • Theme your tables. Decide on a theme you like and believe your guests will appreciate. For example, your favourite destinations or movies. It’s all about making the party more interesting which allows your guests to be relaxed and break the ice.
  • Imaginative seating plans. These can match your table themes, or for a summer soirée why not have your placecards suspended from a tree or a beautiful floral arrangement as a fun and creative way to direct your guests to the right table.
  • Placecards with a personal touch. Attach their name to a hand tied bouquet of herbs or calligraphy their name on a small decorative perfume bottle or mirror which can be a lovely keepsake for them to take home. Be creative with your placecard holders – why not use a cinnamon stick as a holder to add a little spice to your event?
  • It’s so lovely to walk into a home or venue that smells beautiful; it immediately adds a special magic to the ambience. If you are lighting scented candles, try and match your flowers to the fragrance. For a summer evening party, use a fruity or floral fragrance so there is no clash of scents. You can also have your stationery scented for your celebration – citrus or floral scents for a Summer party or a woody or oriental scent for an Autumnal or Winter event.
  • Table plans. For the host and the stationer alike, arranging a table plan takes time and effort and there will be various back and forths. The aim is to try to make all guests feel comfortable, often by mixing familiar and new faces at each table. We want to avoid those awkward encounters where people who have a history they wish they could forget are not sitting next to each other! We suggest start grouping guests according to how they know the host – for example, family members, friends, work colleagues etc. This does not mean that they have to sit together but it is a good starting point to see who may know each other and who does not.
  • Another option is to have tables assigned but with no specific seating. With free seating, guests still know which table they are on but are free to choose their seat at the table.
  • Be creative with your table numbers - whether they are named after your favourite travel destinations, literary quotes or iconic brands - you can inject your personality this way.
  • Beyond paper. We have seen a trend for looking beyond paper, and your tablescape can have beautiful objects that can be personalised and treasured as keepsakes even after the event has taken place. Last year alone we worked with paper, vellum, acrylic, stone, slate, wood, and wax - we love experimenting with new ideas. We’ve also seen beautiful designs using agate (for example, agate placecards with names written in calligraphy), mother of pearl shells, tropical leaves (for placecards and table names) tiles, glass, and many more. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box – if you can dream it, a stationer can probably create it!

Remember that as a host it is up to you to create the right mood for your party. Choose the type of music that your guests will enjoy. Be relaxed – it will help your guests to relax – and above all, enjoy your celebration!

Please contact Vaishali Shah at Ananya for more information!

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Vaishali Shah, Ananya Cards
Expert at blending elements of diverse cultures to create opulent and contemporary stationery that reflects your heritage, style and personality.