This year, Easter is a full weekend event including two large family gatherings on Saturday and a more intimate, immediate family brunch on Sunday. It doesn't always work out this way, but Tyler and I will be hosting brunch, and I have decided to enjoy the festivities, and put my beautiful china to use mixed with a few dyed eggs, fresh tulips and maybe a mimosa or two. As I was planning the menu and decor I realized that not everyone may know the "rules" or should I say guidelines to setting a table, and this would be the perfect time. I honestly can say that I don't know all the intricacies past the first level shown below, but I have probably set the table over a thousand times. It was one of my daily tasks growing up - setting the table and doing the dishes. So when it comes to the basics, I think I could probably do it my sleep - blame my mom. I took this setting up a notch from our typical dinner place setting, but nothing too crazy fancy.
Above is a pretty simple diagram of how to set a table. Of course, you don't really need all of these items every time you set the table. In fact, I am not even including half of these for brunch. I am using two plates (mostly because the salad/dessert plate is soo pretty), two forks, knife and spoon, water glass and champagne glass. Because it is Tyler's immediate family, place cards just seem silly. However, at our Friendsgiving this year, we had place-cards and it was so nice to meet new people and not worry about where you should be sitting. We will be having mimosas or citron sparklers, I haven't decided yet. Either way I have champagne. I think the most important thing to remember when working out your place setting is to don't over do it. Make sure it ins't too crowded on the table and that you really will be using all the pieces. Don't just put pieces for the fun of it, it only means confusion and more dishes! if you need to take it up another notch, I highly recommend checking out the famous, Emily Post, "etiquette of the modern world."
The most common mistake when it comes to setting the table is probably switching the forks with the knife and spoon. Not sure why, but I think it may have to do with people commonly being right handed and expecting the fork on the right. Of course, if you set the table wrong it isn't the end of the world, but the forks go on the left and the knife and spoon on the right, as shown above. I also tend to like the napkin under the forks, unless you have beautiful napkin rings that condenses the cloth napkin so you can actually see the plates. For Easter, I didn't want it to feel too formal, so I used my gold china mixed with a bit more casual chambray tablecloth from Target (make sure to get the right length), white fringed cloth napkins and my everyday flatware. Other than the place setting, I don't have much decor mostly because the table is a bit too narrow and I am concerned about space, but I do have some fresh flowers, dyed eggs that can be eaten or looked at and my gold salt and pepper shakers. Keeping it simple and pretty usually works for everyone - the host and the guests!
Keeping it simple, we will be serving homemade banana bread, fresh pineapple, spinach and gruyere quiche and possibly some thick cut bacon (this is game day decision item). I am honestly really looking forward to hosting our first holiday meal and using my pretty china that I received when we got married. Every time I look at it, I smile! Hope everyone enjoys the spring weekend with those you love!