Debi Shaw - Cooking for dinner parties
As a host or hostess, you need to think about what you want your table to look like. Consider the menu—is it regional? Incorporate elements that include the season. The menu sets the tone for the table and the music.
This is the time to make sure you have everything you need to create the perfect atmosphere to complement your meal. This part of the planning can start up to a month ahead of time. Make certain to check your tablecloth. You do not want to wait until the day of your gathering to realize the tablecloth you thought was just right is too small, or has a huge stain on it!

Tip: Layering different textures and fabrics can add character to your table.