Home EntertainingBy Season How to Set a Romantic Thanksgiving Table

How to Set a Romantic Thanksgiving Table

Easy ideas to inspire your romantic Thanksgiving table in shades of rose and white using fresh flowers and candles.


Setting a Thanksgiving table for a group of people can be daunting because of the work involved. However, there are things you can do to take the worry out of entertaining on a big holiday.

Romantic Thanksgiving Table

Plan Early

Start thinking of Thanksgiving early. Then look for inspirational photos on Pinterest or in online searches. Choose more than one photo and pick out elements you like in them. Don’t worry about copying the look of a table because that can be an impossible task. It is hard to purchase things you see in photos because many photographed items are vintage, antique, or handmade and can’t be found. Instead, look at the colors used and maybe a few details in the photos that inspire you. Finally, to set a romantic Thanksgiving table, consider using some of these things:

  • tablecloth
  • pretty dinnerware
  • cloth napkins
  • velvet
  • goblets
  • flowers
  • silverware
  • place cards
  • menus
  • candles
Romantic Thanksgiving Table

Decide on the Colors You Like

The colors used on this table came from the tablecloth. When deciding on the colors I wanted to use for Thanksgiving, I was unsure of these colors at first because the tablecloth was a darker color than I wanted. Then my daughter bought me the pink pedestal bowls (shown below) at an antique shop. They were perfect to use with the tablecloth, so I had the inspiration I needed to set the table. 

Table Cloth

Romantic tables usually need a tablecloth to give the table a soft look. However, you can use a patterned or plain tablecloth to set a romantic table. Although for some, it is easier to start with a white or lacy tablecloth. Then you don’t have to coordinate items with the color.

Romantic Thanksgiving Table


Since this tablecloth has a busy pattern, I chose to use white dinnerware. The plates have delicate pierced edges, which helps give the table a romantic look. Vintage china also looks beautiful on a romantic table, and you can mix and match different patterns to set the table. The colors or china patterns do not have to be the same but should have an overall pleasing quality when placed together. 

Buying New Dinnerware

If you plan to buy new dinnerware, white is the most versatile color you can purchase. Why? Because food looks appetizing when placed on white plates. You can also use white on modern or vintage tables. Also, you don’t have to worry about matching other colors because white dinnerware is neutral and seems to go with anything.

Romantic Thanksgiving Table


Cloth napkins work well on any table but are perfect for a romantic table. The fabric has a softer look than paper napkins and can be folded into shapes. (Click here to see tuxedo-folded napkins.)

You can also use napkin rings or make your own by tying a piece of velvet or another ribbon around the napkin for a romantic look. Then insert a sprig of greenery or a small flower stem into the tied ribbon (shown above).

Romantic Thanksgiving Table


Use pretty glassware when setting a romantic table. Try pedestal and colored glasses, and choose vintage, antique, or modern glassware. You can even mix different kinds, as shown below. The pink compotes are antique, the clear goblets are vintage, and the white glasses are modern. Best of all, there is no right or wrong way to set them for most casual occasions. On this table, the three glasses I’m using are for the following:

  • pink compotes – dessert
  • clear goblets – wine
  • white glasses – water
Romantic Thanksgiving Table

White Glassware

The modern white water glasses can be found by clicking here. They worked well with this table because they highlighted the white dinnerware and the white in the tablecloth. They were pretty all by themselves and gave the table a modern vibe.

Romantic Thanksgiving Table


Romantic tables almost always have flowers! You can use large arrangements like this table or small arrangements scattered down the center of the table. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using flowers.

Romantic Thanksgiving Table

Large Arrangements

  • For busy special occasions, have a florist make the arrangements. It will save you time. A florist will work with your color scheme and make recommendations to help you. If you tell them you want a romantic look, they can tailor the arrangements to give you that look.
  • For less hectic occasions, buy flowers at a flower stand or grocery store and make arrangements. Trader Joe’s is a great place to find fresh flowers. However, you will be at the mercy of what flowers are available if you do it yourself. But if you plan early enough, some stores will order the colors and/or flowers you want.
  • Cut from outdoor evergreen bushes and flowers to supplement arrangements. 
  • If you use tall arrangements, consider setting them on another table during the meal so guests will not be blocked from talking because of their height.
Romantic Thanksgiving Table

Small Arrangements

Small arrangements are easy to make if you are not adept at flower arranging. Also, you do not have to worry about guests being able to see over the flowers because they are compact. Here are some ideas:

  • Use several small glasses, vases, or even candleholders.
  • Cut the flowers all the same length and place them in a container with water.
  • Add a few sprigs of greenery if you desire a fuller look.
  • Use brightly-colored flowers for a dramatic look. Place the same colors in one vase, as shown below. Click here to see a romantic table with several small brightly-colored arrangements.

Consider Vintage Silverware

A lot of romantic tables use vintage silverware. It is a nice touch if you own a set or can borrow one. Also, like vintage dinner plates, you can mix flatware patterns on your table. However, if vintage is not an option for you, use modern flatware because there are lots of beautiful modern flatware patterns to choose from. Many have a sleek, simple look. Here is a link to a modern gold flatware set. 

Romantic Thanksgiving Table

New Flatware

If you are considering purchasing new flatware, keep these things in mind:

  • Silver is a universal color that works with most dinnerware sets.
  • Gold is pretty but not always as versatile as silver.
  • Matt black flatware is usually considered casual or rustic. However, hard water can stain it with white spots, so it should be dried right after washing it.
  • Colored handles are pretty on flatware, but they are not versatile when you change the look of your table.
  • Plastic flatware is affordable and comes in a variety of colors and shapes. Gone are the days of white “picnic” plastic. Today’s plastic is beautiful and sometimes hard to tell from real flatware–other than the lightweight. Furthermore, they are washable, so you can use them more than once or until the finish starts to come off.
Romantic Thanksgiving Table

Place Cards

Purchased Place Cards

It is pretty to use place cards on a romantic-set table. You can buy place cards and write names on them with gold, silver, or black pen (shown below). Here is a link to similar turkey place cards. To find place cards online, type place cards and the holiday name (for example, place cards thanksgiving) to find cards for your occasion. The search results will include paper cards and also place card holders.

Romantic Thanksgiving Table

DIY Place Cards

You can also make your own or have custom place cards made. But remember, you don’t have to go to a lot of trouble to make them. Use fresh-picked leaves or fresh fruit and write names on them. Minimally, cut a sheet of card stock, fold it tent-shaped, and use it for a place card. Guests will appreciate the effort either way.

Romantic Thanksgiving Table

Different place cards or holders will give you different looks on a table.

  • Wooden and acrylic name place cards can look elegant or rustic. Use scrolling-cut names in gold for a romantic look.
  • Evergreen leaves stay fresh the longest. Hydrangea leaves will last a few days if you keep them in a vase of water. Use a gold or silver pen for an elegant look. Also, consider using a gold pen to write names on red pomegranates or unshelled nuts.
  • Custom-made theme place cards are created in a design program like photoshop and then printed. These kinds of cards give more flexibility with the design than anything you can buy online.


Candles work on most party tables and are not exclusive to romantic tables. There are a variety of options you can use:

  • real tapers
  • battery-operated tapers
  • pillar candles (wax and faux)
  • votives
  • tea lights
  • colored and scented candles
Romantic Thanksgiving Table

Advantages and Disadvantages

Real Candles

Wax candles are the most beautiful, whether tapers or other candles. However, they can drip wax onto the tablecloth or holders. Also, be mindful when using scented candles because their fragrance can overpower your food.

Faux Candles

Faux candles don’t have the same ambiance as real candles, although many are close. However, the advantages of using them are they never burn down and don’t drip wax. If they have a scent, it is usually mild.

Romantic Thanksgiving Table


Menus are a fun touch for entertaining. It lets guests know what you plan to serve and puts a name to foods they might not be familiar with. It can also be a way to organize a party to know what you plan to serve–and stick to the plan. What’s more, you can also see in print if you are trying to be too ambitious or need to look for outside resources to help with the food.

Menus can be large or small (if you want them to fit on top of the place settings). Add theme graphics or leave them plain. For romantic tables, use scrolling text.

Romantic Thanksgiving Table

Other Tables You Might Like

Here are some other tables you might like. Click on each name to link to the table:

Photo Gallery for Romantic Thanksgiving Table

You may also like