Photos: White House State Dinners Through the Years

Wining and dining is on the menu at the White House tonight, as the President and First Lady hold their first state dinner -- honoring India's Prime Minister. State dinners are always grand affairs steeped deep in tradition, and tonight's is the most highly anticipated social event of the year.

The first lady and her staff are in charge of the planning, which means handling even the tiniest details with great care. This includes the guest list, menu, flowers and music, china set and silverware -- all of which help to set the tone for the evening.

Three-hundred-twenty guests were invited this year, and a large white tent has been constructed over the South Lawn. In years past, the dinner has been in the East Room or the State Dining Room, but the tent allows for more guests to attend.

We've put together a slideshow of photos from state dinners through the years. Previous guests have included Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana, and Sophia Loren. Click HERE to see their photos as well as many more.

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