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Elegant Thanksgiving

For this table, I reused the flowers from my Merry and Bright Thanksgiving table. Although the flowers are the same on both tables, there are a lot of differences between the two tables. Click here to see the Merry and Bright Thanksgiving table if you’d like to compare!

To put together an elegant and modern table for Thanksgiving, I used a white tablecloth, fresh flowers, and a clear glass pumpkin (with candle) as a centerpiece. This easy-to-put-together table is different from the classic brown and orange colors I associate with Thanksgiving.

White Table

This table feels formal because of the white tablecloth. But don’t let the tablecloth intimidate you because white makes foods look delicious. The dinnerware on this table is clear, which allows the white of the tablecloth to show through it. There is also a white runner on this table. I added it to give texture to the table because it has white embroidered flowers and leaves on it.

Gold Rimmed Dinnerware

I used gold-rimmed dinnerware for a modern look. If you have the table set when the guests arrive, be sure to tell them which plate is for what so they know what to do. While I sometimes love to set a formal-looking table, I always have casual rules for my dinner party. Ultimately, I always tell guests to use the plates however they choose -so they feel comfortable and are not stressed.


For most gatherings, guests like to see the table decor before dinner starts, and things get messy. Since I often serve a buffet, I leave the table set until everyone sees it. Then I move the plates to the buffet table, where guests self-serve their food. Buffets work well because shy guests don’t have to ask others to pass food dishes. Also, no one feels like they are offending the host/cook by declining a food dish passed around the table!

Place Cards

For groups larger than four, I use place cards. It seems formal, but it makes people feel more comfortable because there is no guessing about the right place to sit or accidentally taking a spot intended for someone else. Also, it is a nice touch to have place cards because your guests know that you planned for them.

Salt and Pepper Bowls

I like to use little bowls with mini spoons for the salt and pepper. They are pretty for special occasions and come in many shapes and colors. I started using them when I discovered that the salt and pepper shakers I owned did not match most of my table settings. These little bowls are easy to fill, easy to clean, and match many table styles. My favorite ones are made of marble and you can usually find them at most kitchen stores. Also, search online for mini salt cellars or salt pinch pots. Here is a link for marble salt cellars and here is another link for bowls. Click here for small spoons. Small ramekins can also work as salt and pepper bowls. Look for bowls about 3 inches in diameter.

Gold-Trimmed Glassware

If you want a glamorous table, use glassware trimmed in gold. Gold-trimmed glasses are pretty and say special occasion. I love to use these glasses for the fall and winter holidays. Click here to see a Christmas table with these same glasses.

Velvet Bows

Velvet bows are pretty tied around napkins. If it is hard for you to make a bow, try knotting the ribbons as I’ve done for this table. You can find velvet ribbon online at Etsy in lots of colors and widths.

Enjoy the rest of the photos!

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