Ramadan – a special time for everyone to come together in the remembrance of Allah (SWT), give to those less fortunate than us and share the blessings of this holy month with our near and dear ones. One of the most beautiful forms of sharing the blessings of this month comes through the sharing of a meal with your friends and family and is truly one of the highlights of this sacred month. In recent times, Iftar get-togethers have increased exponentially in popularity and is one of the most anticipated traditions of Ramadan, especially if you are from a desi household. Chances are that you will end up hosting one, if not several, Iftar get-togethers this holy month thus, without much further ado let me present some innovative table setting ideas for your next Iftar get-together so that this Ramadan you can amaze your guests not just with your food but also your table settings, because yes both are equally important!
Choose a color scheme
I cannot stress enough the importance of choosing a color scheme to perfectly capture the ambience of an Iftar get-together. Whether it’s a formal get-together for your colleagues or a nice cozy Iftar potluck with only close friends in attendance, setting the mood right with the ideal color palette that accentuates your overall color scheme of the house and captures the spirit of the holy month is crucial! Think gold for a formal and lavish Iftar look to impress your colleagues, special guests or your in-laws maybe? Not only will a gold color scheme add a touch of glam to your Iftar get-together, its ability to flawlessly pair with hues of pink, red and blue will let you create a perfect show stopping table setting that will definitely steal the show and have your guests talking about for months.
On the other hand, if you are planning a quiet Iftar with just close ones and prefer not to go too overboard with the sparkly gold, you can try choosing a scheme in a bright yellow or a cool blue. Keeping in mind the heat and humidity outside it is always a good idea to choose a light color that will immediately have a soothing effect for your guests. Remember to use various shades of yellow, green, white or blue or any light color for that matter, to create a breezy and yet chic environment that allows your guests to relax and enjoy the delicious Iftar you prepared for them in peace. The key to successfully host an Iftar get-together lies in the planning, from creating a well-balanced Iftar menu, to maintaining hygienic food preparation techniques and having a color coordinated table layout. So go choose a color palette that captures the true aura of Ramadan and start decorating!
Use a unique centerpiece!
Once you have chosen that oh-so-perfect color palette to create the ideal ambience characteristic of an Iftar get-together, it’s time for you to layout a picturesque table setting. First things first, get creative and choose a unique centerpiece that will immediately capture your guest’s attention. Remember, you have to dress up your table to impress! Since it’s the month of Ramadan, I suggest you use an oriental or antique centerpiece in a shade complementary to your chosen color palette. Using a lantern as a centerpiece can be a special way to pay homage to this holy month as lanterns are most often associated with Ramadan. Not only will a decorative lantern be a representation of the holy month itself, the light from the lantern will heighten the festive atmosphere and create an intimate spiritual atmosphere to complement the mood of an iftar get-together. Alternatively, you can also place fresh flowers in an elegant vase and use it as a centerpiece. Flowers add a pop of color to any setting and the fragrance of seasonal flowers is sure to spark joy among your guests. There is just no way to go wrong with sticking to traditions and using fresh flowers for decoration, absolutely none! However, if none of the aforementioned ideas for centerpieces inspire you, try using a large scented candle as a centerpiece which will create a soothing ambience due to its light fragrance and dim light. Whatever centerpiece you choose, ensure that it has a distinctive style and is an accurate representation of your suave decoration sense.
Dress to impress!
The Iftar table layout is as important as the food you serve for Iftar to create a good impression. So don’t forget to dress your table using the best tablecloth you have and the finest set of cutlery you own. As far as tablecloths go, sticking to the basic white one is always the safest bet for a formal Iftar setting. However, in a more informal setting don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles and patterns of tablecloths – be it a geometric print tablecloth or a single color tablecloth with oriental embroidery. Another great way to add a dash of sophistication to your table setting is by using table runners – especially if you are using a plain tablecloth. A runner in a bold color with/without embroidery will add elegance to the table set-up and also convey the message that you put in a lot of effort and thought to decorate your table. Also, and this is very important, use cloth napkins instead of paper ones because well, it’s much more classic and that’s the vibe you will want to give off regardless of whether you are hosting a formal or informal Iftar get-together. Along with adorning your table with the perfect garb, it is also quintessential that you carefully choose your dinner set. Bring out your best dinner set or invest in a new one – you are bound to need a good one not only for your Iftar get-togethers but also Eid! While it is a fun idea to use colorful dinnerware in various motifs for a chic casual setting, white porcelain with silver or gold embellishments is more appropriate for a formal layout. An important point to keep in mind is matching your serveware with your tableware – in such scenarios it is best to use white bowls/dishes as they match with almost all dinnerware colors and Iftar set-up types. No matter how you choose to set the table, the comfort of the guests should be kept in mind because at the end of the day that’s what matters the most.
Presentation of the food
Coming to the most important part of the entire Iftar get-together: the food! Now, the best way to serve food during an Iftar get-together is to serve it in such a way that your guests can help themselves and no one has to get up for a second refilling of the dish as immediately after the Adhaan everyone, including the house help, is going to be breaking their fast and should have the opportunity to enjoy their Iftar. Using flat plates and building a pyramid of each specific dish to be served is an effective method of accommodating large portions in relatively small serveware. Additionally, you can also use big serveware with lids for the main dishes so they can be kept warm for a long period of time without you having to be running back and forth from the kitchen to reheat the food. However you decide to decorate your table and present your food, just know that the number one rule is to avoid clutter at the table – so don’t use excessive cutlery that serve no purpose or try to squeeze in too many dishes in one table set-up. Your guests should be comfortable and leave your Iftar get-together well-fed and content.
An Iftar get-together should be a time for you to connect with your friends and family and reflect on your many blessings over a good meal. However, arranging one can be stressful during Ramadan – a month many of us dedicate to self-reflection – and in focusing on decorations it is sometimes easy to get carried away and put excessive pressure on yourself. So if you are planning a get-together this season we believe using our tips shall make the process easy and fun and create an atmosphere that best accompanies your food for your next Iftar get-together!
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