How Far Ahead You Should Set The Table For A Dinner Party

Table set for a dinner party
Table set for a dinner party - Peopleimages/Getty Images

Throwing a dinner party can be stressful, but there are ways to minimize that stress and that includes setting the perfect dinner table in advance of your guests' arrival. While how far in advance you break out your tableware is somewhat subjective, usually a day before the festivities gives you plenty of time to think through what needs to be on the table and to come up with a game plan to execute your tablescape vision. Of course, if your dinner party is exceptionally elaborate, you may want to do it two days in advance, but a day is generally plenty of time and it doesn't take your table out of commission for longer than necessary.

The philosophy behind setting your table a day ahead of your feast or celebration focuses on allowing you to be in the moment. If you have all of your placemats, chargers, china, crystal, silver, flowers, and candles already set up how you want them, you can concentrate on making your meal, ensuring nothing burns as you get distracted by wrinkles in tablecloths and napkins and odd wine glass placement. You can even make notes about what should be poured into what glasses and what recipes go in what serving dishes that can guide any helping hands the day of.

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It's All About The Details

Woman setting the table
Woman setting the table - Dimensions/Getty Images

Regardless if your dinner party is formal or informal, your table is going to be the center of activity, so you want to set the right mood for your guests that is inviting and makes them feel welcome. Setting your table a day ahead of your event allows you to figure out if something is missing before you even begin cooking. Perhaps you missed a key piece of silverware or an element of your centerpiece still has a price tag on it. As you survey your table and go through a checklist, you will be more likely to catch these little details.

However, if setting up your table the day before your sit-down dinner party is scheduled isn't practical, there are still things you can do to make this task a little easier. You can wash your glasses or rub your serveware that is not frequently used through the dishwasher the day before, and you can ensure all of your table linens have been prepped and are ready to use. That said, you should aim to set the table before commencing with your culinary exploits in the kitchen.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.