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How to set your Thanksgiving table

Guest List

When preparing to host Thanksgiving, your top priority should be determining your guest list and making sure that you have enough tables and seating for all of your guests. Then, you can start planning how to set your table!


Determine if you have any seasonal décor you’d like to incorporate on your table. Do you have a festive tablecloth or table runner that you can use, fun napkin ring holders or placemats, or any other decorations you’ll be putting on the table? Consider using fall-themed décor like small pumpkins, gourds, leaves or candles. Popular colors for the fall include neutrals and tans, along with pops of oranges, reds and browns. Set the table with these items and colors in mind first, making sure there’s still enough space available for serving dishes. You can include a seasonal centerpiece, or plan for the turkey to placed in the center.

Plate Setting

Next, set each individual plate setting. Using plate chargers with different colors and textures can help to elevate your table settings and bring an added level of class and sophistication to your dinner. Select a cloth napkin that contrasts against the tablecloth or your plates. Place the napkins under the silverware on the left side of your plate, or you top the dinner plates with napkins, folding them on top or using a festive napkin ring holder that ties in the holiday theme.


Now, it’s time for the silverware! On the left side of the plate, place the dinner fork closest to the plate with the salad fork to its left. On the right side of the plate, place the knife with the serrated side facing inward, and place the spoon to its right. Lastly, glasses should be placed the right above the plate.

Thanksgiving Meal

Once your Thanksgiving feast is ready to serve, consider the presentation of the food itself. Transferring your turkey and side dishes to nice serveware is an easy thing to do that will make your meal feel more elegant. Use a neutral color, like white or tan, so that the serveware doesn’t compete with the color of the delicious and colorful food you’ll be serving!

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