Love Wins: Wow Guests With a Rainbow-Themed Vintage Table Setting

Rock the rainbow for your wedding reception, birthday party, pride celebration or any get-together by mixing vintage dishes in ROYGBIV's saturated shades.

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Rock the Rainbow

Setting the table with vintage dishes and glassware makes even an everyday meal feel like a special occasion. However, unless you inherited them, buying a complete set can be pricey. Fear not, mismatched tableware is super budget-friendly — scour local flea markets, thrift shops and estate sales to pick up orphaned glasses and plates in rainbow shades to create your own colorful collection.

Keep Centerpieces Simple

Instead of pricey vases, I used five clear glasses, one between each color's place setting grouping, filled with an assortment of greenery and hue-specific blooms.

And, Mix Fresh With Faux

Silk flowers have come a long way, often making it difficult to tell the difference between fresh and faux. (Honestly, can you tell which of these blooms are silk?) Combine the best of both worlds to create a centerpiece that looks lush and — best of all — incorporates a few faux elements that will last long after the real blooms have faded.

Choose Color-Coordinated Linens

Take your rainbow theme up a notch by matching the napkins to each place setting's color. Tip: For a proper place setting, place the folded napkin under either the dinner plate or to the left of the plates, under the fork.

Red: Place Setting Perfection

Vintage dishware and glasses in red shades, particularly jewel tones, are relatively easy to find. In part, thanks to red being one half of Christmas's traditional palette and also due to the consistent popularity of winey hues over the decades.

Yellow: the Happiest Hue

Vintage dishes and glassware in a true yellow can be a bit tricky to find — sub in amber or gold hues in a pinch. For instance, the glasses here are Fostoria's 'American' pattern in amber.

Easy Being Emerald

Like red plates, thanks to the proliferation of Christmas's traditional colors, vintage green dishware isn't difficult to find. Ditto for the glassware: the two patterns shown here are 'Moon and Stars' (bottom right) and 'Park Lane' by Colony Glass (upper left) and they're both available in a variety of other pretty hues, as well.

A Case of the Blues

Blue + white is the color combo that never goes out of style — it's also the most reproduced color pairing in vintage transferware making it easy to score beautiful dishes like these on the cheap. To complete this serene setting, I used Fostoria 'Virginia' iced tea glases in light blue.

Purple: Rich and Regal

Like yellow, purple dishware can be tricky to track down in person. Searching online can simplify the process but keep in mind that most sellers use the term 'mulberry' to describe the particular shade of plum used in antique transferware. Vintage purple glasses can also be hard to find so I subbed in Fostoria's 'Virginia' pattern wine glasses in dark blue.

Gold: Ties It All Together

With plates and glasses in assorted shades, it's important for some elements to be consistent. Here, gold utensils and chargers add a bit of glam while acting as a neutral backdrop to the table's assorted shades.

Make the Centerpieces Do Double-Duty

Since I'm skipping an orange place setting for this table (trust me, vintage orange transferware is super tough to find!), I incorporated the citrusy hue with an orange garden rose and peach hypericum berries mixed into the red place setting's centerpiece.

Give Guests Their Space

Get-togethers can sometimes feel a bit stuffy. Help your guests relax and avoid the question of, "Is this your fork or mine?" by giving each place setting a bit of breathing room.

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