We’re four weeks before Thanksgiving and it’s when we’re feeling our most creative! About four weeks out from the big day, we start to think about the kind of Thanksgiving we want to have. How do we picture gathering together? Large crowd or small group? Will food be passed around the table or do we want to serve plated dishes? Now is the time to make your dreams a reality! Let’s talk about invitations and dining style.
Invite and collect intel
Also around the four-week mark before Thanksgiving, we extend invitations to the loved ones we want around our Thanksgiving table. Giving plenty of notice allows your guests time to plan themselves, but also lets them know just how important their presence is at your table. Depending on your preferred method of communication, phone calls, emails, and printed invitations are all appropriate ways to reach out.
As you collect RSVPs from your guests, be sure to ask about dietary restrictions and keep a running list of considerations. Some guests may offer to bring their own dishes and now is also the time to make a similar notation. Don’t forget to follow up and communicate allergies with other guests bringing food.
What’s your dining style?
Now is the time we start dreaming about tablescapes and identifying the type of meal we want to have. Our favorite! Are you planning on a large crowd with a buffet to serve food? Will it be a casual dinner filled with family-style food passed around the table? Or perhaps a formal dinner with plated courses? Of course any time you open your home to others is a time to build relationships, but setting the tone of your dinner will also set the tone of the holiday!
The most relaxed dining option of the three we mentioned above, buffet style is wonderful because it can easily feed a crowd. We love the community feeling that comes from a large table filled with different dishes, lovingly prepared by several families, ready to be shared.
Casual dinners are great because they’re well within our hosting comfort zone: we’re all around a table or two and the place settings are straightforward. Why complicate an already busy day filled with recipes and timing? We also think casual dinners are great because we already have the most supplies on-hand at home to make this style happen.
The fanciest of the fancy, formal dinners can really make your Thanksgiving (and your guests!) feel special. There is so much time, attention, and love that goes into a formal style table setting; it can feel intimidating, but we love to solve for that by setting our tables days in advance! By setting a formal table ahead of time, you can focus your day-of efforts on cooking and plating your food.
What dining style do you think you want to try this year? What have you tried before?