November 09, 2023

Come to the Table: A Hunt & Bloom Thanksgiving

Come to the Table: A Hunt & Bloom Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and we are so fortunate to be able to host both of our families in our home each year. It’s no secret that I love creating gorgeous tablescapes and of course, our Thanksgiving tables are no exception. That being said, hosting 30 people is no easy feat and there are a lot of logistics involved when you’re pulling off this kind of event. Planning menus, ordering extra tables and chairs, and coordinating arrivals for out-of-town guests are just some of the things that we have to tackle to prepare for the big day.    

First, Let’s Share Secrets

As a professional florist by trade, one might think I would create over-the-top, lavish and fresh floral arrangements for all of my holiday tables. I’ll admit to you now that it’s actually quite the opposite.

Like the cobbler with no shoes, I'm usually the florist with no flowers. It’s usually the day before Thanksgiving when I remember I need them, and by the time I get ANYWHERE that may remotely have a chance of selling flowers, the pickings are slim. Luckily, there are many more elements I use in my Thanksgiving tablescapes that can be purchased well before the big day. 

I love to use ‘autumnal bounty’ as a theme for my table designs and incorporate copious amounts of fruits (both fresh and dried), nuts, dried corn and oak leaves, mosses and branches alongside dried pods and blooms. Then, I pepper fresh flowers within the masses of these elements to create a really impactful presentation that will impress any guest.

Pro Tip: When you’re overwhelmed with floral options, select colors that emulate the season we’re in. You can often find roses, hydrangeas, and bountiful fresh greenery like eucalyptus at your local Trader Joe’s. Think in colors of burgundy and orange, and pair white hydrangeas to center it all. When in doubt - plop an orchid (pot and all) centered on the table. It adds an architectural element that no one will question! 


Set the Mood

When it comes to setting the foundation of your tablescape, I love to lean towards unexpected elements. Vintage quilts, kanthas, a remnant of beautiful fabric you might have left from an upholstery project, all of these bespoke touches add a certain ‘wow’ factor that is incredibly unique. I've even been known to use vintage scarves layered over the table.

Pro Tip: Let’s not use the Hermes if you're going this route. You probably won't be able to forgive Aunt Linda if she drips gravy on it. For the kid's table (who will not appreciate your vintage Carre), it’s always fun to cover it with kraft paper and include a jar of crayons so they can express their artistic side while enjoying their meal!

I also love to incorporate candles into all of my tablescapes. Whether you’re having your Thanksgiving meal during the day or in the evening, candles really imbue a magical ambiance to the setting.  

I really, really do not like a lot of overhead lighting (or, the big light as the kids are saying these days) during a sit-down meal and prefer to dim the lights and bask in the warm glow of the candles. Tres’ romantique! 

 Don't limit yourself to just having candles on the dining tables, either. I pepper them all over the house - on the mantel, and cocktail tables. Also, always light a scented candle in the bathroom for extra zhoosh! 

Pro Tip: Make sure to only have unscented candles on dining tables and around food. Mixing the scents of candles with food is sometimes off-putting to some people.  

What Speaks to You?

Is it really your tablescape if you don’t throw in a few knick-knacks here and there? I love dotting my tablescape with assorted accessories or even customized name cards to add extra flair. It’s obviously too late in the season to order your letterpress custom menus, but don’t fret! Hand-written signage is actually all the rage these days. A good calligraphy set plus acrylic paint applied with thin brushes will work wonders. 

Take an afternoon to add your personal touch to the table. I love perusing Pinterest for inspiring examples to get the creative juices flowing. Trust me, your guests will love the added touch. It also adds a personalized element that elevates even the simplest of tablescapes. Not an artist? A quick tip (when you’re in a bind) is to design menus or place cards on Canva. 

It’s also not too late to think about our assortment of cocktail napkins for your Holiday gathering. If you need me between now and January you can find me on the rocks (wink, wink). 

Pro tip: Add an unexpected element to the table that introduces a bit of fun and conversation. Instax cameras make for such a lovely touch at any get-together, be it a wedding or  Thanksgiving dinner. This will inspire your guests to connect and enjoy themselves, and who doesn’t want a little photo souvenir to take home after dinner? 

At the End of the Day

Don't be intimidated by the task of creating your Thanksgiving tablescapes. If you aren’t an expert at arranging flowers, you see now that there are plenty of other options at your disposal that exude autumnal bounty. 

When in doubt, throw down a unique tablecloth, mix and match your best plates, add some greenery or an orchid, turn off the ‘big light’ and light as many candles as you can!

Pro tip: You got this! 

I know for certain your table is going to be gorgeous and I hope you’ll share pictures if you use any of my tips, I can’t wait to see what kind of magic you come up with! Please hashtag #BloomingThanksgiving!  We would love to see your creations this year!