Friday, June 1, 2012

Thoughts On Hosting A Sit-Down Dinner

We are hosting part of a neighborhood dinner this Saturday evening.



We volunteered for this Progressive Dinner. It is an annual event  - started exactly 40 years ago - with 100 to 150 people attending . Cocktails, dinner and then dessert/nightcap - offered at a different homes throughout the evening...therefore guests "progress" to the next house after each course. Several homes are required for the first 2 courses and one house opens up for the final course of the evening.  A great opportunity to meet new people and catch up with others. Dinner is a sit-down affair and we have offered to be one of the houses to open for dinner. This course is always catered.

 
I will have 10 people seated at the dining table. I have started to consider what I would do for the centerpiece. You may recall what I did for the ladies' event a couple of weeks ago. This was before the food was placed around the table. I had kept it simple.



For the dinner this weekend, I will have place settings for 10 with wine and water glasses. I do not want the table to look over-the-top or too busy. The Manzanita candelabra will be a little too wide on the table for this occasion and will cut into the space for a place setting or two. I have to work with the china I have - a formal set  - and will balance that with some less formal items I already own. I plan on only buying flowers. The food will be served buffet style.

 
I also decided not to use the woven bamboo table runner like I did before. These braided table mats I have had for many years; picked up in India.


I also have some like these.


I had recently purchased some turquoise shells and glass gems from JoAnn's to infuse this color into the dining room and living room decor. I am considering a floral arrangement with these.


As you know, my glass jar collection is growing and I thought I could perhaps use these in a grouping for the center with flowers and maybe candles.

I like to make sure that people seated at the table are able to view each other across the table without much, preferably any, hindrance from table decorations. The height of an arrangement has to be kept in mind.


Here I am playing around with some ideas involving flameless candles. I love to use these in the warmer months to create a relaxing mood and add ambient light. They give an almost natural glow without the heat of real candles.

I grouped 8 jars together. Candle inside jar.



Or candles between the center and outside ring of jars to create a sort of backlight and add sparkle to the turquoise gems and shells.



Trying out the look. Here are the flowers - still going strong from a couple of weeks ago - without candles. These flowers are on their way out and I will be buying fresh ones for the event. I think I might use white daisy poms again. I like how these are looking with the turquoise.



And with candles.


I might have one of these at each end of the table. With flowers, of course. And you get a glimpse of my Chilewich placemats. More on that later.


By now you might be wondering what my china looks like. Stay tuned.

I will be setting the table this evening and will share more.

And I do need to talk about my new blog design and will do so next week. Thank you to those who have noticed and commented.

Enjoy your weekend!


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