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Table Setting Guide


Are you having any type of sit down meal at your next event or dinner party?  Well then it’s time you learned how to properly set a table.  Use the image above as a guide for whenever you are having a dinner party and below we will provide you with some additional tips!

Helpful Tips

  • Lay Down your table cloth first and for added flair add a table runner.
  • Build your centerpiece or pieces before you lay your table.
  • Your dinner plates should be set two inches from the table’s edge. Set plates about two feet apart from plate center to plate center.
  • Your silverware should be placed in the order of its use, 1⁄2 inch from the plate, from the outside in, first course to main course. Don’t put out utensils that won’t be used even if it tells you to in the image.
  • Forks should be placed to the left of the plate, knives and spoons to the right.
  • Napkins should be placed on the plate or to the left of the forks depending on the setting.
  • If you are serving bread, place a bread plate above the forks to the left of the plate and include a butter knife or spreader.  However you may also include this plate for brunch or breakfast if you are serving muffins or danishes without a butter knife.
  • Soup bowls are placed on top of the dinner or base plates and are usually brought out with soup in them rather than sitting in the original setting.  Served after the salad.
  • If you are serving dessert, the silverware should be placed above the plate with the fork handle to the left and the spoon or knife handle to the right. You may also set the dessert silverware right before dessert is served.  Another plate should also be brought out for the dessert either with the dessert on it or to be served later.
  • Cups and glasses go on the right side of the plate, bread plates to the left. Glasses should be placed above the knives in a straight row, slanting downward from the upper left, (water goblet, champagne flute, red wine, white wine). Make sure smaller glasses aren’t hidden behind larger ones.
  • If you plan to serve coffee or tea with the meal, place the cup and saucer to the right of the setting.
  • If you are using place cards they should be to the left of the glasses above the dessert spoon and fork.
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