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What started as a side hustle for two creative, driven sisters has now become one of the Midwest’s premier event planning and design firms. At Elevate, we find pure, unbridled joy in celebrating all aspects of life - big moments, small gatherings and anything in between.

A Touch of Style with Meredith: Setting the Table for the Holidays

This holiday season is looking very different than years past, and whether you plan to gather in a smaller, more intimate group or with just your immediate family, your holiday table can still look stylish and festive! A properly set formal table is a skill every hostess should have, and will certainly impress your family and guests.  

Place Settings

Here are a few basic tips for putting together a beautiful holiday table, no matter the amount of guests you have.  At each place setting, forks should be placed to the left of the dinner plate, knives and spoons to the right. Stemware is set above and to the right of the dinner plate; and bread-and-butter plates (if using) should be located above the forks, to the left of the place setting. Flatware should align with the bottom rim of the dinner plate or charger (if using). 

The water glass stands above the dinner knife, white wine to its right, and red wine top center. While you are setting your table, keep your menu in mind and be careful not to overset your table. At each place setting only include the dinner and glassware needed for the dishes you have planned.  

Placecards are a great addition for gatherings of more than four people.  As the hostess, arrange the seating chart in a thoughtful manner. I always recommend setting your table the day before your event, to be able to focus on your menu and guests during your holiday gathering. 


For a beautiful holiday table this year, try to incorporate natural elements and layers of texture. Add in a neutral accent color, especially when using white dinnerware.  I chose to use a blush table runner with corresponding blush napkins, and added natural elements to the tablescape decor with small white pumpkins and pinecones. My floral centerpiece is a beautiful, repurposed arrangement from a styled shoot I just did with Pollen House (stay tuned for more details on that!).

For even more tips on hosting a small gathering, be sure to check out my previous blog post on Hosting a Dinner Party



Vendor Credits

Photography: Raconteur Imagery | @raconteurimagery

Florals: Pollen House | @pollen.house