Elaborate festivities and dinner parties are in the air this time of year. If you are responsible for setting up dinner tables for such an event, these tips are for you. Remember, as much as delicious food is important, beautiful and proper presentation is equally needed. After all, the eye eats as well.

Our Events Coordinator at Old Timers Cabin emphasizes that,

the most important things to consider are the occasion, formality, and theme. Once you realize these things, the rest is taking the proper steps to get it all together, creatively.

Here are some table setup tips to help you get started:

1-  Setup the dishes, glasses and cutlery properly.

It is not the end of the world if you have one fork in place of another but it is better to meet everyone’s expectations and get it right. This diagram shows one formal way of setting dishware and cutlery, as you might find other styles depending on formality and culture. Click on the image to enlarge and see all the details. 


2- Assign guests to seats in a functional distribution. 
By functionally we mean seat your guests in a way that would make it easy to mingle. For example, you can seat chatty ones in different corners so they start conversations with quieter people, or seat persons with relatively similar interests together. Assigning seats makes things easier for your guests and helps mix people more.


3- Give good thought to your table centre pieces.

table setup tips edmonton events venueCentre pieces help focus your setup, give perspective to the entire table, and can trigger conversations. Also, centre pieces usually feature table numbers and some dim sort of lighting such as candles. not too distracting from the event. Your choice will depend on the theme, formality, season, guests and type of food, but it should not be too distracting or vision-blocking. There are endless ideas to choose from so be creative.


4- Include a program with contents and necessary details. 

table setup tips edmonton events venueThe event program, will make guests at ease knowing what to expect and when. This is especially true for events with several activities taking place. Also, make sure key name are there such as those of the speakers or performers. The menu should be in the program with necessary allergy information.



table setup tips edmonton events venue5- Consider location of tables, food and side items. 

You need to make sure everything is placed strategically. Tables should not block the flow of moving guests and service staff. Drinks should be on a separate table than food. Ensure the movement of guests to and from the buffet is smooth and obstacle-free.


Let us know if you have any questions about your next event. For inquiries and venue bookings, please click here.

Enjoy being creative!

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