7 Place Setting Staples for the Most Seamless Party Ever

table setting
If you're throwing a dinner party and want it to go off without a hitch, you'll want to make sure you're well prepared. A seamless party starts with the staples, and, if you have everything you need, you can help ensure that the night is a breeze. The place setting choices are critical, so pick wisely to get you from the starters all the way to dessert.
You can start with these place setting must-haves:
1. Sharp, Quality Cutlery
The dinner is all about the meal, and, without good cutlery, enjoying it can be a little tricky to do. Knives, forks, and spoons seem like kind of a no-brainer, but often hosts do not think to check the quality of their supplies before the big night. Opt for durable cutlery that will stand up to heavier food items and take on tougher things like steak. Be sure to sharpen all knives too, so that the guests don't feel like they're trying to breakdown a well-done round with a butter knife. Choosing nice silver also leaves a lasting impression, as it looks and feels better to use. Hence the expression: "Born with a silver spoon in their mouth."
2. Pretty Napkins 
crab napkins
Napkins can actually be quite lovely and give the place setting a certain charm. Some fabric napkins are beautifully embroidered or decorated with lace. There are also many different designs to choose from. You can easily match them with the theme of your party, in addition to the other decor of your home. The embroidered crab napkins available at Lewes Gifts are ideal for friends gathering at a beach home for a nice seafood dinner. Even if you are having a casual BBQ, you can pick up some fun paper napkins. They'll add a little spice to the theme. Lewes Gifts and Bayside Gifts both run specials on napkins available all year long. Paper napkins are buy 1, get 1 at 1/2 off, while cloth napkins are buy 3, get 1 free.
3. Salad Plates and Meal Plates
With every meal, there are multiple courses. Instead of slapping a few dinner plates on the table, you can prepare for the different parts of the meal to come. Give each guest their own soup bowl, salad plate, dinner plate, and ultimately dessert dish. If they feel like there is room or a place for everything, they might be more inclined to try everything (even picky eaters). Because dessert doesn't come until the end, save space by keeping those supplies in the kitchen until the main course is complete. 
4. Fun Placemats 
Like napkins, placemats can set the stage for the evening. If you are going for a more formal look, get some cloth placemats that match your napkins. They do not need to be identical, but should be coordinating colors. More casual plans are a great opportunity to use fun, easily cleaned reversible placemats like the ones from Counter Art. Each of these placemats are made of plastic, but look like pictures, featuring fish, wine glasses, and other eye-catching designs. These are available at buy 3, get 1 free from Lewes Gifts and Bayside Gifts throughout the entire year.
5. Salt and Pepper Shakers 
Everyone knows that one person that will salt anything including pizza and Chinese food. Even if others are a little more reserved with their salt sprinklings, shakers are an absolute place setting necessity for any party. Salt and pepper shakers are incredibly important to making sure the meal is enjoyable to all. They can also add a certain ambiance. Carved wooden salt and pepper shakers or fine glass salt and pepper shakers can almost look like a piece of home decor for the dinner table. Find the perfect pair for you.
6. Serving Dishes
mud pie serving
Don't forget the serving dishes! All of that amazing food has to get to you and your friends somehow. Serve it in style! Mud Pie has a lovely collection of serving dishes that might even inspire a chuckle or conversation. Their party-perfect serving bowls feature funny puns and jokey sayings. There is a great collection of their best products right at Lewes Gifts.
7. Place Cards (for the Hostess with the Mostess)
If you are feeling a little extra for your next dinner party, feel free to get out the place cards. The additional time and effort put into this small element can speak volumes to your attention to detail. You can make them yourself with cardstock and some calligraphy pens or print them in a computer. Plus, it gives you control over who sits where. Meaning: You got primo seating by those mashed potatoes, Betsey!
Setting up for a dinner party can actually be pretty fun. Just by focusing more on these place setting essentials, you can make the room a lot more personal and the night a lot more enjoyable. Have fun with it!

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  • Michiko Seto