Just the thought of hosting Thanksgiving can be nerve-racking, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow this easy step-by-step guide to take the decision-making and stress out of setting a beautiful, lavish Friendsgiving tablescape for your guests this Thanksgiving.
Will you be far away from away from your family this Thanksgiving? This time of year can be tough–especially when you’re far away from your cherished family, hometown friends, or even just the holiday traditions that you’re accustomed to during the holiday season.
Thankfully, hosting a Friendsgiving dinner can be a great way to fill that void. Or, in addition to your Thanksgiving dinner it can a be a special time to allow your friends to come together, remember all they have to be thankful for, celebrate their friendships, and memories –that will last years to come!
But, maybe you don’t know the ins and the outs of setting a holiday table?… but, I’m here to tell you, that’s completely okay! If you follow these easy peasy steps, you’ll have a gorgeous Thanksgiving table in a snap! And not just any one, one sure to make your guests swoon!
Or perhaps you’re already the hosting queen, either way, this post is sure to give you plenty of ideas for making your Thanksgiving table setting extra special for you and your guests this turkey day!!
First Things First For Friendsgiving
Before we dive right into the tablescape details, let’s go over some ideas to make hosting run more smoothly and less stressful.
When you’re planning your dinner party, keep in mind, you aren’t obligated to do everything the traditional way. Here are just a few ideas to make hosting more doable:
- First things first, create your guest list. This will help you plan ahead on how many seats you’ll need and where you can seat everyone. If you’re short on room at the dining room table (and it’s not freezing out), then consider outdoor dining! When hosting a large gathering, a deck or patio is the perfect place to entertain!
- Don’t feel like you have to do it all when it comes to the food preparation. Consider having a “pot-luck” style Friendsgiving, where each guest can bring a designated dish. This will not only take a major load off of the hosting-stress, it’ll also allow your guests the joy of contributing!
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Consider assigning tasks to family members or friends, such as setting the table, pouring drinks, or managing music.
- Set your table a couple of days or possibly the night before. This help you greatly reduce your stress on Thanksgiving day.
Above all, just remember hosting Friendsgiving, whether for the first time or the fiftieth, does not have to be perfect
Play with your Palette
When it comes to your Friendsgiving tablescape (or any of your Thanksgiving decorations, for that matter), don’t be afraid to follow your heart!
If you love traditional colors of fall, opt for beautiful orange pumpkins and different variations of fall-toned gourds. And consider coordinating your centerpiece arrangement, choosing florals in burnt orange, amber, ivory and cream!
You can also go the non-traditional route. Here, I used real heirloom pumpkins, both Jarrahdale blue and Flat Stacker white pumpkins. Then, I mixed in some muted amber tones and soft pinks to create a muted amber, blush and muted blue centerpiece.
Alternatively, you can opt for faux pumpkins! The sky is limit when it comes to the color palette of faux pumpkins!
Incorporate Cozy Table Textiles
Of course, if you have traditional thanksgiving (or fall) table linens, feel free to put them to good use!
However, if you don’t, that’s great too–sometimes “making do” with what you have turns out even better than you could even imagine!
Soo… here’s a fun suggestion of how to make your tablescape super cozy, yet elegant–swap your formal table cloth or table runner with a fall scarf!
The photo below is both an example of various color palettes you could use as inspiration for your table, as well as ideas for utilizing your scarfs and throws. The top three are scarfs I dug out of my closet, while the bottom is a small lightweight throw blanket, that just happens to the be the perfect size for our table.
If you have a long, skinny scarf, stretch it out flat along the center of the table–in lieu of a conventional table runner. Alternatively, you can intentionally make it gathered in places for a more relaxed look.
If you have a square or large rectangular scarf, you can stretch it out on a diagonal on the tabletop, creating a loose, asymmetric tablecloth. Honestly, I love this look more than a formal tablecloth.
The beautiful thing is that your scarf will create an elegant, romantic feel by the way it lays across the table — and bonus, it will also save you money!
Place your Pumpkins
Next, whether you’re using real pumpkins or faux, place your pumpkins along the center of your table. (If you’d like to incorporate a fall floral arrangement, leave a little room in the very middle of your dinner table.)
You can set your pumpkins in a straight line or you can kind of zig-zag them along your table runner. Next, for added interest (and adorability), tuck little mini pumpkins in between your larger size pumpkins. (I’m imagining your tablescape and swooning already.)
Here, I used a mixture of heirloom pumpkins in a variety of sizes from my local market and smaller faux pumpkins that look really real. But, you can use real or faux pumpkins–either will be beautiful!
The best part of using fake pumpkins is that they will never rot on you! Faux pumpkins will last you years to come!
Fall for Fall Foliage
Every fall tablescape needs a little bit of fall foliage, I think. And, a Friendsgiving tablescape is no exception.
Not only is adding foliage a nice nod to fall, it’s also a beautiful way to create more texture and visual interest on your table setting.
So grab your favorite real or faux foliage and gently tuck it in between and around your pumpkins. You can also consider sneaking in little pine cones, or other bits of fall nature, for added dimension and interest.
Pro Tip: If your fall stems are too long, take your wire cutters and cut the branches apart into smaller pieces. Your fall foliage will be so much easier to work with!
Pretty up your Place Settings
Sometimes when I’ve created a full centerpiece, I like to follow the “less is more” adage when it comes to each place setting.
But you can really do a little or a lot–either will be beautiful on this table setting. If you have place mats with interesting texture, I think they would go well here layered under your plates.
Since this centerpiece already has a lot going on, I decided to forgo a place mat or charger and just went in with my dinner plate. Then, I topped it with this beautiful coordinating salad plate.
This dinnerware set has such a pretty, ornate design, so I really wanted the design details of the plate to shine. (I’ll link to this set at the bottom of the post, in case you’re on the hunt for some affordable, yet elegant dinnerware.)
If you have decorative napkins that coordinate with your pumpkins and textiles, feel free to add it on top or next to each place setting.
Let Your Flatware Shine
Whether you use gold or silver flatware, consider allowing your flatware to make a pretty statement on your tabletop. Gold metals always give me regal vintage vibes, so I dusted off my gold flatware, and put it in the spotlight.
To add a special, subtle nod to fall, I grouped my flatware and tied it with a strand of raffia. The textures and tone of raffia just say “fall” to me.
Then I tucked a small stalk of faux wheat in a pretty blush shade in the bundle. The soft blush tones of the wheat tie in nicely with the faux fall florals to come.
Instead of hiding your flatware in a napkin, let it stay on display to pretty up the top of your place setting. Tying your flatware with raffia is an easy way to let your flatware look put together and polished. (Pun intended. 😉)
DIY Thanksgiving Details
Here’s another idea sure to make your dinner guests swoon at your attention to detail.
Because I really wanted to put an emphasis on thankfulness on Thanksgiving day, I decided to make creative place cards, but instead of the guest’s name, I added a verse about praise and thanksgiving, Psalm 69:30.
“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.” Psalm 69:30.
If you’ve followed along with me on social media, you know that I usually like to do these types of DIY projects with my favorite stencils, but I just happened upon an adorable stamp with Psalm 69:30 in a beautiful font that was just too perfect.
First, I painted these wood rectangles in my favorite chalk paint. After the base coat of paint was dry, I carefully dipped my paint in a dish of another shade of chalk paint, and carefully applied it to the wood. Afterwards, I hot glued a stick (because I’m fancy like that 😉) to the back so that it would stay upright on each place setting.
Alternatively, you could cover a square in a fall-themed scrapbook paper, and stamp or stencil a favorite quote or verse or the guest’s name.
Adding creative details go a long way in helping your guests create lasting memories of your Thanksgiving dinner.
Create a Fall Floral Centerpiece
Now with all the details so far, this Friendsgiving tablescape is already looking lavish, so the next step is completely optional. But anytime, I create a tablescape, it’s hard to resist the urge to incorporate beautiful florals.
Feel free to use faux or fresh flowers for your fall table, both have their benefits! Because I had some pretty faux flowers on hand, I decided to put them to use.
For that vintage feeling, I grabbed a worn and weather galvanized bucket to be the vessel or this arrangement. In my humble opinion, the layers of worn patina only add to the beauty of the other tablescape elements.
To create the arrangement, I cut down a piece of chicken wire, formed it into a tightly fitting ball and sat into the bucket. Next, I arranged faux blush hydrangeas, large faux ivory garden roses, faux dried mauve roses, and a few ivory pumpkin picks.
Please let me know if you’d like to see a full tutorial on this centerpiece arrangement.
Add Subtle Ambiance
In my humble opinion, every tablescape also needs a little bit of gold and a dash of added ambiance. So, I dug out my vintage-inspired gold candlesticks.
Regardless if you’re a “golden girl” or not, adding tapered candles in pretty candlesticks is sure to help you pull together an elegant look in an instant.
For even more ambiance, I also placed small candles in votive glass candle holders. Having the different heights of candles also creates more visual interest in your centerpiece.
Of course, safety is always a concern, so lieu of real candles, you could also opt for tea lights, as a safer option.
Beautiful Friendsgiving Tablescape
Now put all the aforementioned details together to create an ultra-inviting and cozy, elegant Friendsgiving tablescape!
More Fall Decor Ideas
If you’d like to spread some more of this cozy, fall aesthetic around the rest of your home, be sure to check out these posts before you go:
One last thing to make a top priority on your to do list: make sure you set the stress aside, and take time to enjoy your Friendsgiving celebration! Afterall, this special holiday comes around only once a year, and we never know how much time we have left with the people we love.
Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope it gave you all the ideas and resources you need for setting your own special Friendsgiving tablescape. And, I hope you have a truly blessed and happy Friendsgiving, friend!
Oh, and one last thing, if you could use more inspiration for your Thanksgiving decor around the house, be sure to follow my Pinterest board, Fall & Thanksgiving: Decor & Hosting Ideas! And, if you have any remaining apprehension in regards to all the hosting, I found this Thanksgiving countdown from Better, Homes and Garden especially helpful.
This post contains affiliate links, so I may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through these links at no additional cost to you. You can read for full disclosure policy here. Thank you so much for supporting the RouseintheHouse blog.
Ivory Farmhouse Lace Dinnerware
This is the exact ivory dinnerware set, The Pioneer Woman Farmhouse Lace 12-Piece Dinnerware Set, that I used on my Thanksgiving table (that I love so much) in the photos above. If you scroll to the left or right, you’ll see the coordinating pieces: a 10″ serving bowl, the butter dish, salt and pepper shakers, coffee mugs and gravy boat.
Neutral Table Linens
The nice thing about neutral table linens is that you can use them throughout the year–for all kinds of holidays and events. These are some of my favorite picks online. Be sure to measure the dimensions of your dining table before you shop.
Fall Scarves (in lieu of table linens)
Who says you’ve got to use fancy table linens for your Friendsgiving tablescape? An inexpensive fall scarf can often be equally charming! And bonus, you can wear it later in the season!
Here I’ve linked a variety of beautiful flatware sets. From “Antique” Silver to Dishwash safe Gold flatware and to Gold-Plated Antique Baroque Flatware, there’s something for everyone!
Pretty Faux Pumpkins
If you don’t want to hunt down pretty pumpkins at the start of every fall season OR just don’t want to worry about rotting pumpkins down the line, pretty faux pumpkins are a perfect choice!
If you used a solid color table runner or table cloth, you might opt for a cute gingham napkin or any kind of pretty fall-toned patterned napkin here. Alternatively, if you’ve use a plaid or patterned tablecloth or table runner, you might opt for one of the solid napkins. I’ve linked a variety of pretty napkins below.
Isn’t this pastel brown gingham napkin with the scalloped edge super adorable? Scroll all the way to the right to see those. They would be perfect for a Friendsgiving tablescape, but could be used throughout the fall season.
Although I skipped using linen napkins and napkin rings in the photos above, they can make an elegant (and functional) touch on your tablescape. Here I’ve linked a variety of pretty gold napkin rings that would be perfect for any Thanksgiving table setting.
Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget some elegant glassware. Here I’ve linked some beautiful, ornate goblets and sleek water glasses.
Pin for Later: Thanksgiving Tablescape
If you hover over the image below, you’ll see an option to pin this post. Be sure to pin it, so you can come back to all these Thanksgiving table decor ideas later!