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Planning A Formal Celebration: Formal Dinner Parties

PlaningformlcleonformaldinerFormal dinner parties are held for many different reasons that range from awards and special events to anniversaries and weddings. There is something very magical about a formal dinner party that is so sophisticated and elegant yet also very warm and inviting. Planning and organizing a formal dinner party does take some effort, but it is always well worth it.

Creating Atmosphere

One of the main considerations in hosting a formal dinner party is deciding on a decor or atmosphere for the party. To help create an atmosphere of elegance there are several options that are relatively easy to complete yourself or work on with a professional florist or party planner. The theme of a formal dinner party is often expressed through the colors that are used at the table and in the decorations. Traditional colors for formal dinner events include:

- Monochromatic white on white displays
- Cream colored tablecloths with matching table settings and rich, solid colored linen napkins such as burgundy, royal blue, forest green or gold
- Floral colored tablecloths with solid white or cream-colored linen napkins and white or cream colored table settings.

Avoid using too many patterns in either the table linens or the table settings. The additional silverware and glasses on the table will appear overly crowded or cluttered if you have too many patterns and colors. The simpler the appearance the more elegant the overall effect will be.

Use soft lighting and avoid any direct or harsh lights. Candles add a wonderful touch of softness to the table and can be either pillar style candles arranged in groups or taper candles in multiple holders. Again, the color of the candles should either match the table settings or the linens, but should not clash or contrast. A wonderful option is a large, clear glass bowl with some miniature floating candles and rose petals. If you have a long table a series of pillar candles in the center and floating candles towards each of the ends makes a striking display. A simple floral arrangement of roses, chrysanthemums, lilies or other flowers should compliment the table but should not detract from the beauty of the table setting itself.

Placeholders or place cards add an additional touch of formality to the evening. Formal dinner place cards can be made from folding small, rectangular pieces of cardstock in half to resemble a tent shape. Each person's name is then written on the card. For additional elegance consider having the names written in calligraphy or even complete them using a specialized font on a computer, then cut out the cards using a pattern after the names have been printed.

How to set a formal table

A formal place setting is sometimes a bit difficult to understand, but once you realize how to place the utensils there will be no problems. Each place setting is a bit different; depending on how many courses you are planning with the meal. All of the utensils are at the table with the place setting starting with the first used utensil on the outside and then moving in. The plate that is originally on the table may either be used as the main course plate or may be removed with the salad plate after the first course.

In North America the first course is usually a salad, so the salad fork, which is a smaller fork, is placed farthest from the plate on the left hand side. A butter knife is usually placed across the bread and butter plate just to the top left hand side of the place setting. A large plate is always left on the table at the place setting to hold as a basis for setting the salad plate on. The main course fork is placed just inside of the salad fork, about an inch from the left hand edge of the plate. The knives are arranged the same as the forks, from the outside to the inside. Often there will be only one knife, but depending on the courses served there may be two. If soup is being served the soup spoon will be on the same side as the knives, in the correct order of the courses. The dessert forks and spoons will be set cross ways at the top of the plate. Often the dessert utensils are left off the table and brought in with the dessert course.

The water glass is located just above the main course knife on the top right side of the place setting. The red and white wine glasses, either both or one or the other, are then placed to the outside of the water glass. The water glass is always the biggest and sturdiest looking of the glasses, the red wine glass is deep and rounded, and the white wine glass is the smallest of the glasses. Not everyone uses these designations with the wine glasses but very traditional formal dinner settings will.

If you don't have all the various utensils and plates but would like to have a formal dinner party many party rental companies or even caterers rent out table setting for formal dinner party events. While it does take a bit more time and effort you will be amazed at how elegant your dinner is and how much your guest will enjoy your formal dinner party.------------------------------------------If you are a business owner get listed at Best Entertaintment Site, part of Localwin Network.
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