Dinner parties are a way of bringing people together. They give you and your friends something exciting to look forward to. The home-cooked food is made with a love that no restaurant can match. And they’re a wonderful opportunity to release your creativity with some inventive dinner party ideas.
As the host, one of your most valuable skills is knowing how to set a table for a dinner party. That includes picking out the place settings, crockery, ornaments, and of course candles. To help you plan your next big bash, here are some top tips for setting a terrific table with a beautiful candle display.
5 ideas for how to set a table for a dinner party using candles
1) Embrace the country with a rustic display
We’ve talked before about complementing candles with sand, submerged twigs, or a mirror in our 9 DIY Table Centerpiece Ideas Using Candles. But what about beans?
First, get a shallow tray and secure a taper or pillar candle in the center. Candle hack: A great way to do this is to gently heat the base of the candle using a utility lighter until the wax starts to melt. Then, position the candle and hold it down until the wax starts to cool and solidify.
Then, fill the tray with dried beans, rice, or lentils. Not only does this add color and texture to the table, but it also evokes sensations of nature and the harvest. This makes it an excellent choice for a summer garden party or fall celebration.
You could also add twigs in vases or holders to complete the rustic look (with some homemade bread and soup for a fitting starter!).
2) Get colorful with floating candles
If you prefer your dinner party ideas to be bright and quirky, this might be the one for you. Grab a few clear bowls of different sizes and designs, and fill them with water. Next, drop some food coloring into each bowl to dye the water. Top it off by adding a floating candle of a complementary color (red with green, yellow with purple, orange with blue, etc.) for a vivid and flamboyant table!
But why stop there? Scatter some colorful flower heads in the water and across the table, and lay out your grooviest mismatching crockery to complete the eclectic yet artful look.
3) Keep to the classics with elegant tapers
Not every dinner party needs to reinvent the wheel. If your guests are turning up in flowing dresses and dashing suits, you can’t go wrong with the classic look of slim, delicate taper candles.
For these, you’ll want to keep to the classic colors: ivory, white, and maybe one or two black candles to add some depth. Choose either simple or ornate holders of various heights and spread them evenly across the table.
Keeping things simple is often the right move, here. But you could go the extra mile by adding elegant floral centerpieces or scattering large blooms like those of cattleya orchids or Madonna lilies. This will add an extra dimension of class to your dinner party without cluttering the table.
4) Stay minimal with an enclosed votive display
Sometimes, a simple candle centerpiece speaks a thousand words. If you prefer to keep your decorations minimalist, votives in clear holders are a great choice.
To turn this into a subtly impressive table setting, place four of these votive candles in a rectangular glass box in the center of the table. The four flames create a glow worthy of central display without overcrowding your eating space or distracting from the event.
5) Decorate for the season
Seasonal decorations are a popular choice for any special event, and dinner parties are no exception. So if you want to welcome the beauty of nature indoors and onto your table, here are our recommendations:
- Spring: The focus here should be on the budding of new life and the coming of warmer weather. Look for candles in green, yellow, red, pink, and light brown, and decorate with twigs, buds, and fresh blooms. As for crockery, choose bright options with simple patterns.
- Summer: The rising heat lends itself well to candles in red, orange, yellow, and light blue. Use bountiful flowers and elegant, decorative crockery to bring out the full energy and vigor of the season.
- Fall: As we come toward the end of the year, colors should fade into purples, oranges, and earthy browns. Fresh produce like squash, apples, green vegetables, and root vegetables add a theme of harvest. And simple, plain crockery works well.
- Winter: A delicate season that deserves candles in white, light blue, deep green, and gold. White twigs, green leaves, and red berries are excellent as highlights, and crockery that balances elegant patterns with larger white spaces is the perfect fit.
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