The 101 of using Thanksgiving chargers
A few points to remember. Thanksgiving Chargers should never hang over the end of the table. I tend to set mine half an inch from the end of the table so that the plate sits at a good distance to eat from…however there is no exact measurement in formal etiquette that you must know. ‘And seeing how I never entertain anyone supper fancy I’m sure I’m just fine. Chargers can be on the table with the napkin in the middle or napkins to the left or right of the place setting when your guests enter. Remember that silverware should all line up at the bottom and should also be equidistant so you create a gorgeous mirror effect across the table. No food or drink (not even water!) should be on the table before guests sit. But you do you! I used these stunning paper chargers from Hester&Cook HERE
The first thing to note is that the word “charger” is used commonly in America, but in Europe it was actually called a “service plate”. The service plate, or charger, is laid down at the beginning of the meal and typically stays for some or all of the courses . Once the entrée is served, the charger is taken off the table and replaced with the main dining plate, or if you don’t want the hassle it may stay until you clear away the dinner plates. Dessert should never be served on a charger. As you see below you can layer all the things starting with the linen placemat from Crown Linen Design HERE
Chargers serve a few purposes depending on the table and meal. Chargers come in all different materials, both formal or informal, and can be used to protect tables from heat and condensation. or they can simply be decorative. Love my paper Hester & Cook HERE . For me it is defiantly decorative. I like to think that I’m protecting the beautiful table my hubby built for us. Food should never be placed directly on a charger, and instead only on plates.
Check to make sure the size is correct. Most chargers are typically up to 14 inches in diameter. IF you are planning to leave the charger on the table throughout the meal make sure it matches with your dishes. I always make sure to match the formality of the place setting with the material of the charger. For instance, if you are having a beautiful 4 course holiday dinner with a white table cloth, I would choose a beautiful porcelain charger. If I’m having a birthday celebration or thanksgiving dinner I can choose something more fun, like paper or a wreath. More Modern Thanksgiving Ideas HERE
Whenever I want my table to really pop, I always include chargers. (see this modern thanksgiving post I did last year) I think when the table is set and guests walk in, it adds the wow factor. That makes a guest feel extra special. I love to create a beautiful welcome. Hosting and table setting etiquette is all about making your guests feel special and taken care of. Its not hard to do but feels kind of fancy and makes your guest feel extra special!