Dinner Party Decorations

24 Essential Dinner Party Decorations

Here are some lifesaver Dinner Party Decorations for your next dinner party. Dinner parties can be a fun and engaging way to bring people together. It is not always easy to plan. There are some important things to keep in mind while putting together your party. The way your table is set for a dinner party depends on the formality of your event. If you are throwing a casual event, the placement of silverware and glasses may not be important to you.

If you want to throw an elegant dinner party, then there are specific rules that you should follow. General rules for silverware and plates say that they should be one inch from the edge of the table and that you start from the outside and work your way in. Here are some rules on etiquette and ideas for setting your table.

Dinner Party Decorations: Basics

1. Placemats

Placemats should be centered on each person’s space. They should also be placed up against the edge of the table.

2. Chargers

Chargers go to the center of each placemat.

3. Dinner Plates

The dinner plates go on top of the charger.

4. Salad Plate

The salad plate goes on top of the dinner plate.

5. Napkins

The napkin goes in the center of the top plate (if there is no food on the plates). If you are setting the table with the first course already at each place setting, fold the napkin flat into a rectangle and place it to the left of the forks on the table.

6. Forks

Forks go to the left of the plate with the salad fork on the outside.


Knives go to the right of the plate.

8. Spoons

Spoons go to the right of the plate with soup spoons to the left of regular spoons.

9. Water glass

Water glass goes over the knife 

10. Wine glasses

The wine glasses go to the right of the water glass angled down toward the spoons. If you are serving both red and white wine, they each have a separate glass with the red wine glass being next to the water glass and then the white glass next to the red wine glass.

11. Dessert Silverware

According to proper etiquette, once the table is cleared of dinner, then the dessert silverware may be placed on the table. The dessert fork will go on the table on top of the plates with the prongs facing to the right. The dessert spoon will go ahead of the fork with the spoon facing to the left.

12. Coffee Cups and Saucer

Whether you’re leaving the coffee cup and saucer out for the entire meal or just bringing it to the table during the dessert course, it’s placed to the right of the spoons.

13. Bread and butter course

For a bread and butter course, the plate is placed on the left side of the plate above the forks. The knife is placed on the bread and butter plate with the blade pointing approximately at 11 o’clock.

14. Place cards

Place cards should be placed at the head of the place setting.

Sprucing Up Your Dinner Party Decorations 

If you’re throwing a dinner party, the best tip for choosing décor is to choose a theme and incorporate that into all of your décor pieces. Once you have a theme, choosing your decorations is really simple. For example, if you choose to have a Mexican inspired night, decorate with bright colors, maracas, patterned tablecloths, and sombrero hats. We suggest that you think beyond generic décor pieces and think about including multi-purpose dinner party decorations such as food or drinks that can double as décor. For a Mexican theme party, you may want to have bowls of chips and salsa spread throughout the room. Here are a few dinner party table setting ideas!

15. Napkin Fold

Research some fun napkin folds for instant décor. Or teach your guests how to fold their own napkins into funny shapes!

16. Napkin Rings

Use napkins that you already have and spruce them up with colorful napkin rings instead. This will completely transform your table setting without having to spend a lot of money.

17. Centerpiece

Make sure you have some type of centerpiece on the table. For a spring dinner party, stick Manzanita branches in a vase with flower petals and crystals hanging from them. 

18. Tablecloths

If you don’t have a tablecloth, check out your local fabric store and create your own.

19. Place Cards

While you may think name cards are only for elegant affairs; they are great to make your guests feel less tension about where they should or shouldn’t sit. Use something creative as a place card, such as a paper snowflake for a Winter Wonderland theme.

20. Signature Cocktail

Plan to serve a signature cocktail that goes along with your theme. If you’re hosting a carnival themed party, make cotton candy martinis and place them around the room. Not only are they theme décor, but they also taste great!

21. Punch Bowl

Along the same lines as a signature cocktail, if you have a punch bowl filled with a color theme to match your party, you are adding to the room’s overall décor.

22. Ambient Lighting

Think about lighting as décor. Don’t just use the light that you have in your dining room, use a dimmer switch, candles, colored light bulbs, or specialty lamps to create a different ambiance.

23. “Confetti”

Place items down the table as if they were a table runner. If you are throwing a beach-themed dinner party, scatter seashells and starfish down the table. For a Mardi Gras theme, place beads down the center of the table.

24. Menu Cards

Give your guests a preview of what’s to come by providing little menu cards. It’s classy and adds a fun little twist to your dinner party.


I hope this list of things to consider while throwing a dinner party has helped you create something great for you and your guests. Don’t forget the most important thing…have fun!

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