Want to learn how to ‘wow’ your guests and set your table like a pro? 

The festive season is fast approaching and we know that many of you will be hosting special lunches and dinners at home. As a host, you should aim to impress your guests by showcasing your world, whilst making your guests feel at home. A beautiful table setting can do wonders. Not only does it help to elevate your dinner party, but by showcasing this effort, you’ll definitely make your event one to remember.

However, table setting is more than just throwing on a table cloth and putting out plates – and the whole process can be daunting. So, we’ve teamed up with Belinda from Simply Seated, who is a very talented and creative stylist, to provide you with expert advice on how to turn your dinner table into a beautiful table where food can be shared and memories can be made. In this blog, Belinda breaks down a few common questions about table setting. 

Many people get confused about how to set up a table, including the different dinnerware pieces and their intended use. Can you simplify this? 

When planning a table setting you need to first think about the style of food service you are having, i.e. is it share platters or plated service and how many courses will be serviced. Based on this, you can then determine the number of plates, cutlery and glassware required. 

Generally, a 3 course meal will involve a 5 piece cutlery set for entree, main and dessert which is set on the table.  A charger plate can be used as a base plate for decorative purposes and the glassware will be set based on the drinks being served, however normally it is at least one water glass and wine glass.

table setting at home

What are some easy and accessible things that we can use to accessorise a table?

You can accessorise a table using a variety of styling pieces, the easiest being candles and vases for flowers. If you have access to a napkin ring or a colour napkin or table runner, this can also be a nice touch to add a little colour and thought to the table. Other ways of styling a table include the use of printed menus or place cards which can also tie in with your colour palette or theme.

What are your top tips for making a table ‘festive’?

First think about the colour palette and style of table you would like to achieve. Is it a traditional green and red? A white Christmas?

Then start planning how you can achieve this through the use of similar colour items in your crockery, glassware and table linen.

outdoor table setting
Source: @simply.seated
stylish table setting idea
Source: @simply.seated


Food is always a great way to style a Christmas table, it could be the food itself placed on a nice platter, or various fruit and nuts in different height compotes and vases to create interest and add colour and texture to the table. Lighting also creates a nice ambience, so different height candles and tealights are a good way to achieve this.

christmas table setting

What are some things to avoid when setting up a tablescape?

Overdoing it and adding too much to the table. It can be easy to get excited and put too much to a point where it does not become practical. If you are planning to use platters then you need to consider the width of the tabe and allow enough space for the food.

Do you have any other tips for hosting dinner parties this Christmas?

We recommend planning ahead! Think about where you are going to set up (indoor, outdoor,), the space you need to accommodate the number of guests, as well as the flow of the evening and the guest experience. Are you serving canapes? Will you have a styled grazing table?  

It is always nice to allow people to mingle over finger food and a drink and then invite them to your styled table for the formal festive dining experience!

grazing table setting
Source: @simply.seated


Traditional white gold rim plates and glassic gold cutlery are always popular around this time of year.  People tend to want to create an elegant dining experience for their guests and lean towards luxuruous choices for their crockery and glassware. For this we recommend our Luna range which is our cut-crystal glassware, paired with our gold rim plate set.  Velvet linen is also really popular and many people like merlot and emerald tones for Christmas.

table setting with crystal wine glass
Source: @simply.seated

Simply Seated is one of Sydney’s leading event Hire and Styling companies. Let them take the guesswork out of styling and ensure that you and your guests are sitting pretty!

Or, if you’d like to try to DIY, browse their collection that includes a range of innovative and on-trend furniture – for hire!

Instagram: @simply.seated

Website: www.simplyseated.com.au

If you have any other table setting tips or tricks to share with the VIVE Cooking School community, let us know on Instagram!