Life is full of everyday routines, and, if we’re lucky, special occasions that are worth breaking bread over.

It’s easy to make the switch from casual to formal dining without breaking a sweat or breaking the bank. Here’s how we did it in a garden party setting with our Moresdale outdoor dining table.

Crafted of durable aluminum, this farmhouse table with trestle base is finished to resemble finely grained wood. When a piece of outdoor furniture looks this good, it’s worthy of everything from casual meals to formal feasts.

Tips for setting a casual table:

Overhead shot of an outdoor dining table setting

Have fun with color. Feel free to mix up colors on your plates, placemats and plate holders for casual flair.

Layer tone and texture. Woven runners, placemats and plate holders add layers that take a table setting to the next level.

Sandwich cloth napkins. Putting a flatly folded napkin between your salad and entrée plate is another casually cool way to layer with color and texture.

Pour on the charm. When an occasion is anything but formal, a self-serve drink dispenser is perfectly charming—and practical.

Present flatware on the plate. Etiquette experts might not approve, but times have changed and so have the rules. For a casual occasion, bon appétit.

Outdoor patio area with a dining table and a women setting the table with decor.

Tips for setting a formal table:

Opt for a subtle, neutral color palette. Think beige, cream, sage, golds, silver and shades of gray.

Overhead view of a formal outdoor dining table setting with greenery.

Break out the bubbly. Great for serving water and wine, bubble glass goblets are one of our tried-and-true choices for a special occasion table setting.

Wow with a naturally beautiful centerpiece. Richly rustic centerpieces are a toast-worthy addition to a garden party. And they don’t have to be complicated. Imagine the wow factor of leafy green gardenias, lilies, hydrangeas or roses mixed with a few succulents. So simple, yet so upscale.

Wrap it up. Wrapping flatware in cloth napkins tied with metallic twine can really elevate the occasion.

Let there be candlelight. Brilliant candle arrangements delight with drama and romance—and really make an occasion feel special.

An outdoor patio with a dining table and a women decorating the formal table with home decor.

Final Tip: Though we chose to show off two different dinnerware arrangements in our video, not everyone wants to make that kind of investment. The great thing about tabletop trends—you can find dinnerware that serves your needs for everyday dining and formal affairs. Case in point: the Veranda melamine set.