November 1st typically signals the planning of the Thanksgiving Menu, but for me, it prompts the arrangement of my Thanksgiving Tablescape. What is my theme? What tablecloth, chargers, and Autumnal baubles will I be using this year? What feelings am I hoping to invoke for future memories? And then I set out to plan my menu. Just as a shoe can spur an entire outfit, a decorative plate can spur an entire feast.
First things first: How many guests are you hosting? What is your budget? Will your vison work for the size of your table? As nothing will make you sadder than realizing the three-tiered serving platter you purchased to be your table’s focal point is too tall and will cause a conversational obstruction (trust me on this one; but it does look lovely on the serving table!). Once this first planning stage is complete, you are ready to begin planning your décor!
Start by getting inspired! Whether you are a Pinterest or a Magazine browser, inspiration is all around us! But, never be a copy-cat, always put your personal spin on everything you do! Whether it be by using a favorite fabric as your tablecloth or table runner, or by highlighting a favorite family heirloom; make your table a reflection of your personal style! And don’t forget to add a few special conversational pieces! This can be done with unique salt and pepper shakers or eye-catching napkins!
Décor and Budget, do not always go together like a Horse and Carriage, but you can always improvise with what you have on hand! Floral arrangements, candles, pumpkins, and items found in nature, can all be used to create as elaborate or as simple of a centerpiece as you desire! To stay on budget, shop thrift and antique stores, and you will be amazed at what you can find for a great bargain at Ross or the numerous dollar stores in town! In fact, the water goblets I use every year were a Dollar Tree find!
Once you have accumulated your treasures, and ornamented your table to your liking, be certain that you have enough space around your centerpieces, stemware, etc. for everyone to feel comfortable during the meal. You would hate for one of your pine cones to end up in the gravy boat! And don’t forget to have conveniently placed salt and pepper shakers, extra napkins, and butter on the table. I like to place these items on various-sized cake plates or elevated platers, so they are easily accessible for my guests, while adding height and texture to my table!
Last, but not least, nothing is more synonymous with ambiance than candles. You can use candles of varying sizes, from Taper to Votive, to add drama - but I would suggest using non-scented, as you don’t want to over-power your guests, or take away from the delicious aromas from your feast!
Whether you are hosting a formal dinner, or a casual lunch, I hope that you have found this to be helpful, and that you and yours have a wonderful, memorable, and delicious Thanksgiving full of love, laughter, and of course: ambiance!