Your Ultimate Guide to Tablescaping for Small Intimate Events

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At Blooming Haus London, we love sharing what we do. It brings us so much joy and fulfilment.

As we enter Autumn a slew of seasonal celebrations are about to commence.

Are you ready to up the ante and upgrade the aesthetics of your small and intimate gatherings?

Let's dive right in...

Your 10-Step Guide to Tablescaping for Intimate Events

1. Place Settings

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to place settings. 

But, there are some basics that you should know

They give you a starting point from which you can design place settings that have style, elegance and personality

The basics of place setting include:

- Plate
- Flatware 
- Napkin
- Glass or cup

A placemat, menu, flowers and other personalised items can also feature. 

When you’re creating your place settings, you should usually: 

- Space plates evenly.
- Place napkins on the left-hand side of the plate. 
- Set forks to the left of the plate. 
- Set knives with their blades facing towards the plate. 
- Place spoons to the right of knives. 
- Place glasses above the knives. 

This is the classic place setting style but you do have the freedom to get creative such as folding a napkin into a knot and placing it on the plate for romantic occasions like engagements. 

So, bear the basics in mind but use your imagination too

2. Personal Touches 

Want to make your intimate dining event sparkle

No problem.

Just give it a personal touch

Taking time to do this makes your guests feel special. 

You can design menus for your settings, personalise napkins, and one of our personal favourites is to choose a favour for each guest. 

Not sure where to start?

No problem.

You'll find more personalisation ideas as you move through the different sections of this guide.

3. Creating a Comfortable Space

Comfort is at the centre of any truly successful intimate event. 

It helps your guests to relax and enjoy the occasion

Want to know how to set up a tablescape that is comfort centric

We’re happy to share our insights

- Make sure each guest can easily reach essentials such as wine, breads, and water. 
- Space place settings at 24 inches apart so that everyone has enough elbow room. 
- Give each guest at least 20 inches of legroom
- Allow two feet of table length per chair. 

Here’s a quick extra tip

Round tables have a smaller footprint because they have no corners of wasted space so it makes sense to use them where possible if you’re hosting an intimate event.

4. Place Cards

Small intimate events don’t have large guest lists.  

Having a smaller number of guests means you might want to invest some of your budget in customising place cards for your place settings. 

Hand-calligraphed cards are amazing for creating a real sense of luxury. 

We also love choosing colours or materials for place cards that connect with the theme of your event

This works really well for adding a sense of cohesion and inclusion

5. Menus

It’s not only place cards that can be personalised. 

Handwritten menus are a great idea too. 

It’s simple to do this if you only have a few menus to produce. 

Don’t have good handwriting? 

No problem…

You can enlist the services of a friend with calligraphy skills

Or, check out the services of a professional personalised stationary provider

For an extra personal touch, add individual notes to each menu that mean something to your guests. 

6. Napkins

Napkins are essential to every place setting. 

You can choose simple but classic napkins if that’s your preference. 

But, we’ve seen some amazing napkin ideas that add a pop of interest to a tablescape. 

You can tuck a delicate flower like a sweet pea into each napkin. 

Silk or lace napkin rings work well too. 

Or, why not wrap a boxed favour within each napkin to add a touch of intrigue to your event. 

7. Favours

Speaking of favours

Including them in your place settings shows your guests how special they are

The favours you choose can be as simple as handmade chocolates. 

Other creative favour ideas include: 

- Gourmet snacks. 
- Luxury lip balms. 
- Cupcakes. 
- Candles. 

Think carefully about what your guests will love when you’re choosing favours. 

You can choose the same small gift for everyone. 

Or, you can go the extra mile and choose individual favours that suit a guest’s personality, style and interests. 

The second option only really works if you know each guest well. 

8. Embellishments

Love unleashing your artistic side? 

As creatives, we hear you. 

Why not use your own special talents to add a unique touch to your tablescape settings. 

You get to express yourself and your guests feel special because you’ve made the effort. 

Why not create your own placemats with personal messages if that's your thing.

If you cross stitch why not embellish placemats with bright and bold designs. 

We’ve even seen hosts create a miniature portrait for each guest. 

If artistry isn’t your thing, we have a fun alternative that’s great for intimate dinners with friends. 

Use miniature chalkboards or whiteboards as placemats and let your guests get creative. 

9. Seasonal Elements

Adding seasonal features to your tablescapes makes your intimate event unique. 

Pine cones are excellent place cardholders in the lead up to Christmas. 

Spring is the time for light bright colours

You may want to include spring flowers too. 

Take a look at our journal entry for inspiration. 

Your Ultimate Guide To Spring Flowers In The UK (2021)

In autumn, hone in on the harvest themes!

Warm shades are welcome...corn, grains, and pumpkins too.

10. Florals

As luxury florists in London, we’re passionate about bringing blooms to luxury tablescapes.

We love creating delicate posies of flowers such as violet and heather for each guest at an event. 

They bring a sense of light and love to the proceedings

Think outside the box with flowers for your table settings. 

You may prefer succulents or herbs to traditional blooms, especially if there’s a boho vibe going on. 


Flowers can be tied with a simple ribbon, displayed in vintage bottles, or even jam jars. 

You can be as individual and quirky as you choose to but always have your theme and guests in mind. 

A quick heads up…

Don’t forget that many flowers have a scent. 

Be careful that this doesn’t interfere with the taste of the food you serve to your guests.

If you liked any of the pictures in this blog they were all taken from projects we were involved in.

Need some professional help for your next event?

We can help!

From large lavish occasions to simple intimate events we offer luxury at all levels.

Focus on the fun and take the stress away from planning with our help.

Reach out today to discuss in greater depth and secure your event date.

We hope you enjoyed our introductory guide to tablescaping.

Did this inspire you to get creative with your next event?

Be sure to let us know in the comments section below, we'd love to hear from you.
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