Party Table Scapes

One of my favorite parts of party prep is making the table scape. I have way too much fun working on the layout of the food. The key to a dynamic presentation is a balance between sameness and variety. There has to be at least one element that connects each serving, whether it's color, shape, or theme. This prevents the table from looking too overwhelming. In the case of Merle's birthday party, I stuck with a simple color scheme of white with blue and gold accents. I may have mentioned it before, but I'm a big supporter of white dishes. They let their food contents be the visual focus and can coordinate with just about any party theme. I also incorporated the garden tea party theme into the table scape by using teacups to present dips and sauces. Don't be afraid to add non-food elements that carry the theme. In this case, I used a decorative teapot, mini tea sets, and the favors, mini flower pots filled with chocolate. 

A table full of food on identical plates  starts to get boring, so having elements of diversity are a must. This could mean texture accents (garden twine? glitter charges?), height differences, or variety in the shape of bowls and plates used. Instead of using the standard plastic table cloth, I used printed craft paper to cover the table, which added a rustic contrast to the polished sheen of the porcelain serve ware. Setting gold chargers underneath regular dinner plates increased their impact on the table. To create even more depth, some plates were set on top of overturned bowls. This is an easy way to give the appearance of variety in serve ware without actually buying a lot of party specific platters. As an added bonus, having height differences allows for more food on the table because plates can be tucked underneath one another. 

What aspects of party prep are your favorite? Any tips you use when setting out food for parties?

Here's a list of where you can buy the party supplies I used.  

White serving bowl for mini kale quiche
White oblong plate for meatballs picked up at Kohl's
Corelle bowls for adding height to plates
Gold chargers from the Dollar Tree

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