Dressing Up the Holiday Table

Nothing says the holidays like a festive table dressed for your favorite guests.  Even better is when it’s set al fresco.  That was our plan for Thanksgiving, however Mother Nature had other plans.  I knew from the weather report that it was going to rain on turkey day, but I wanted to play table-dress-up anyway.  So the day before Thanksgiving, my daughter-in-law, Stephanie, and I staged our table – as we had dreamed.  

It was a gorgeous day, the sun was bright with a few whispy clouds.  We grabbed the guys, Mr. Dasch-ing included, to carry the table and chairs down on the lawn.  While I got to work on gathering my great grandmother’s china, Stephanie arranged the flowers and together we dressed what turned out to be a beautiful table.  

Oh, and let me tell you a little bit more about Stephanie!  She owns the premier wedding and event design company, Diamond Events, located in the Washington, D.C. area, and serving Virginia’s horse and wine country, as well as the entire state of Virginia.  Her elegant style and unique vision helped make every detail of our tablescape exquisite!

Back to our gorgeous table dressing day…we had some extra help.  My granddaughter Madelyn jumped right in.  She wants to be a “Flower Lady” when she grows up, just like her mom, she says.  She frolicked around on the lawn, and popped in for a few camera smiles, while Stephanie and I arranged each place setting to almost – perfection.  

I set out to light the taper candles…however, I quickly learned that I should have trimmed the long wicks.   Singed strings fell onto the table runner and left charred marks that were not repairable.  We simply flipped them over for the main day event, but I won’t make that mistake again!

As I watched Stephanie set the table, for a second time, I observed a little trick she used.  When arranging the silverware at each place setting, she used her thumbnail as the exact measure of distance from the edge of the table to the base of the fork, spoon and knife.  I felt as though I was watching Mr. Carson (or Mrs. Hughes in this case – literally – as Hughes is Stephanie’s maiden name) prepare the table for the Crawley family on Downton Abby.  

For our tablescape we partnered with The Monogram Merchant for the gorgeous monograms on our  napkins. My sweet friend Cynthia Brumback, the owner, also happens to be the author of The Art of The Monogram, a collection of fascinating stories and photographs of monograms through the ages. The lovely pink glassware and gold flatware are from Orlando Wedding & Party Rentals. I’ve linked some similar options below.  The beautiful photos are by Kristen Hechler.

It’s wonderful how setting the table as a dry run can be just as delightful an experience as the day of.  And as you know it drizzled and rained all day on Thanksgiving in Winter Park.  Yet our hearts were filled with sunshine as we cleared out the living room of the Main Cottage on our property here at Marsh Rabbit Run.  We duplicated our tablescape from the day before, however this time the table was set for 17 people!!  

For Christmas and New Years, Mr. Dasch-ing and I will be dining on a much smaller scale, and hopefully out and at a fancy restaurant.  Fortunately for me, my mom and dad live right here at Marsh Rabbit Run.  So we’ll enjoy time with them as we do each day.  Then we’ll head over to visit our grandson to celebrate his first visit from Santa.  Hope you enjoyed our tablescape adventures.  



I’ve linked items used for our table, and similar ones, below:

Photos by Kristen Hechler

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