If you’re planning a party to celebrate a special occasion such as a big birthday or anniversary, setting the table properly can make a big difference to the feel of the event. It will give the party more gravitas and make it feel a lot more sophisticated. If that’s something you’re interested in, take a look at these tips for a perfectly set party table:

Arrange the Cutlery in the Right Order

If you want to be really formal, then laying out the cutlery in the right order will help you immensely. There are numerous guides which will tell you how to do this depending on your location and culture.

Party Table Linens

You should always, and I mean always cover your table with a crisp linen tablecloth if you want your party table to look stylish and sophisticated. The presence on the line will also serve to ‘absorb’ sounds so that your party is more understated if that is something you would like.

Party Table Napkins

Napkins should, of course, always be present on the table, especially if it’s a dinner party. If you want to go the extra mile, having personalized napkins made for you, guests is a nice touch, although not essential. It’s always a good idea to use your napkins as an extra table decoration by folding them into interesting shapes, before placing them on the dinner plates. If you don’t want to do that, laying them flat underneath the plate is also fine.

Shine and Polish

You don’t have to invest in an expensive silver cutlery set to make your table look beautiful for your next party, but you should at least ensure that all pieces match and that they have been cleaned, shined and polished before you lay the table.

Plate Chargers

If the plates you’re using are pretty plain, placing pretty plate chargers underneath them will add an extra design element and make your table look even better.


You should have at least one show stopping centerpiece on your party table to make it clear that it is a special occasion. If your table is particularly large, having a centerpiece of every 4-6 people is a good idea. Providing they aren’t too big.

Good centerpiece ideas include:

  • Fresh cut flowers
  • A crystal ball filled with fairy lights
  • A gold leaf covered pumpkin
  • Candles

(If you’re using candles, they should be unscented to avoid overwhelming the senses at dinner, and they should always be on a heat proof surface, that also prevents wax drips from getting everywhere)

Of course, there are few limits to what can and cannot be used as a centerpiece – just keep it classy.

Party Table Name Cards

Name Cards are great for parties because, not only do they make the whole affair seem a bit more special, but they can help you to take firm control of where people sit. So, if there are two guests who you know don’t particularly get along, or you want to avoid seating the two gossips next to each other, for example, you can lay your table accordingly.

How do you set your party table for the perfect gathering?