Apr02
Posted in: Entertaining

Our Tips for a Gorgeous Spring Table

Spring has sprung! We have fabulous and unique ideas to set a gorgeous table for Easter, Passover, Mother’s Day, or any spring gathering. Spring is all about renewal (thus the symbolic egg), colorful flowers in bloom, birds singing in the trees, bunnies, and gardens. Use these as your inspiration!

To start, break out the bright and cheerful linens. Use runners, placemats, bright napkins, or chargers to brighten up your everyday white dishes or fine china. Check out our videos, “Three Beautiful Ways to Use Your Everyday Dishes” and “Three Beautiful Ways to Use your Fine China,” for ideas on dressing up simple white dishes or going with something fancier.

Feel free to mix patterns, too. Florals pair beautifully with stripes or gingham to create a sunny mood. Just be sure to stick with one or two common colors to tie it all together and carry them through into floral arrangements and other table décor.

Flowers are a must — the more the merrier! Be sure to celebrate spring blooms: tulips, daffodils, lilacs, hyacinths, etc. A large arrangement is a beautiful centerpiece for a buffet; for a sit-down meal, try multiple small arrangements. Tuck flowers in anything from small white or crystal pitchers to pretty teapots, mason jars, or even small watering cans to really evoke a garden theme. You can even set out small pots of blooming bulbs and send them home with guests to plant in their own gardens.

You can really get creative with place settings and party favors around a spring theme. Pick up small bird nests from the craft store and fill them with egg shaped pastel candy or Jordan almonds. Tuck a seed packet tied in twine under each setting, or write guests names on colorful dyed eggs set in individual egg cups. A single spring flower tied with a note and laid across a plate is always a beautiful and appreciated gesture.

If your gathering will be hosted as a brunch or for a large group, a buffet is the way to go. Check out our video on setting up a buffet for tips and tricks to set up a beautiful self-service friendly table, and our information on brunch planning, recipes, and serving ideas to make hosting easy as one-two-three.

Religious holiday celebrations often have their own unique table decor. An Easter must-have is a display of colored eggs in a tiered stand or basket or sweetly decorated hollow eggs strung from a display or chandelier. Crosses can be stamped on place cards or favors as a reminder of the true reason for the holiday. Small chocolate bunnies tied with a bow make adorable place cards at the kids table.

The Passover Seder tradition has specific table setting needs. In addition to displaying the main Seder plate, try incorporating some of the symbolic foods into each place setting. (e.g., small carafes of wine for place cards) Another option: create one or two extra Seder plates so everyone can easily participate with fewer spills. Arrange five saucers or small bowls on a large plate that matches them, and then use the small dishes to display each of the symbolic foods. Make initialed bookmarks or small copies of the Haggadah to lay across plates for guests to read from and take home as favors.

Last but certainly not least comes Mother’s Day! Give mom the full “Queen for a Day” treatment starting with breakfast in bed. Use a pretty serving tray to wake her with a small carafe of coffee, a basket of freshly baked treats like Apricot Ginger Scones, and spring blooms in a bud vase. For an extra special touch, print out a copy of your menu on pretty stationary, room-service style.

What’s your family’s favorite spring entertaining tradition?

Julie Hartigan

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is a recovering engineer turned chef. She develops recipes and writes about cooking, entertaining, and health for Bed Bath & Beyond, WeightWatchers, FitPregnancy, and others, looking for the spot "where Healthy meets Happy." Julie shares a small urban condo with her 2 little girls, 2 chubby guinea pigs, and 1 very patient husband. You can find her on Twitter @cookingwjulie.

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