At some point, you will find yourself invited to a fancy event, where you’ll be faced with multiple forks that have different jobs. Do you remember the proper dinner etiquette?
Suddenly, you realize you need to study a table setting diagram just to know how to eat your meal with class.
We totally understand that walking into a super fancy meal can be a bit intimidating; however, this guide will help you.
Table Setting 101
If you just remember this one thing, you’ll be fine. Work from the outside in, beginning with the utensils that are furthest away from the plate.
Forks don’t like to mingle with other utensils and want to hang out on the left. The “other” utensils such as knives, spoons, and any extras go on the right.
Okay, you only need to place utensils that are necessary for the meal you are providing. Got it? Well, just in case….
Formal Table Setting Diagram
Dining Etiquette Reminders
At some point, you may be invited to a fancy wedding or business meal, and you’ll be grateful for these reminders.
Where Should You Sit
To prevent any risk of embarrassment, don’t make any assumptions. Wait for a signal from the host on when and where to be seated. It would be awkward if you were the first one seated and then asked to move to another location.
During The Meal
- Cell phones do not belong at the dinner table – period!
- Keep your elbows off the table and don’t slouch.
- Even if you’re hungry, wait to begin eating after most of the table has already started, including the host.
- Order food that can be eaten with a knife and fork. Finger foods are messy and distracting.
- Don’t talk with your mouth full.
- It’s bad manners to season the food before tasting it.
- If asked to pass either salt or pepper, always give them together.
- After using your utensils, rest them on your plate and not the table.
- If you leave the table, place your napkin on your chair. At the end of the meal, your dirty napkin should be set to the left of the plate.
Where To Place Glasses For Your Table Setting?
When arranging a place setting, glasses should be placed above the knife and fork, on the right side of the plate.
This placement is especially important for wine glasses, as it is considered poor etiquette to hold them in your left hand.
If there are multiple wine glasses, the tallest should be placed in the back and the shortest in front.
Champagne flutes can also be placed above the knife and fork on the right side of the plate.
How to Place the Silverware
There’s no one right way to place silverware on a plate, but there are a few general guidelines that can help make your table look more polished.
The fork should always be placed on the left of the plate, and the knife should be placed on the right of the fork. If you’re using a soup spoon, it should be placed above the knife and to the right of the plate.
The teaspoon should be placed to the right of the soup spoon.
Some people also like to place their glass above or below their silverware, depending on their personal preference.
And if you’re serving salad or dessert, those items can either be served separately or next to the main course on the same plate.
Dessert Place Setting
A dessert place setting typically includes a dessert fork, a dessert spoon, and a dessert knife. The dessert fork is smaller than the dinner fork and has three or four times.
The dessert spoon is smaller than the soup spoon and has a round bowl. The dessert knife is smaller than the dinner knife and has a thin blade.
When you’re setting the table for dessert, you’ll want to use a smaller plate and put the sweet treats in the center. This will help control your portion size and make sure you don’t overindulge.
Plus, it’s just more fun to eat from a pretty plate!
Everyday Table Setting
Here are the basics of setting a table for everyday meals:
- Place a folded napkin (or two napkins if you’re using a large dinner plate) in the center of the plate.
- If you’re using utensils, place them on the right side of the plate, beginning with the fork and working your way in order of use from there (fork, knife, spoon).
- If you’re not using utensils, place them to the left of the plate instead.
- Pour any drinkware off to the side so that it’s not in people’s way while they’re eating.
- Position plates about 1/2 inch from the utensils.
Table Setting Diagram and Dinner Etiquette – Conclusion
Well, that about wraps up all the top dinner etiquette rules I tend to follow. Yep, there’s a bunch more, but if I mentioned all of them, I’m afraid you would never show up for any fancy meal.
Just take a mental note of the table setting diagram and remember to work from the outside in.
Personally, in the last couple of years, I have entertained by displaying appetizers since I find it less stressful and more enjoyable for our guests anyway.
You’ll find some tips in my post – Seven Last-Minute Entertaining Hacks.
Of course, there is no reason to skip out on the pretty table settings.
At some point, everyone is going to have to sit down to enjoy their food, so I still set up my dining room table.
Allow your flowers or table linens to set the color pallet.
Set your food in the middle of the table, toss in a few candles for ambiance, and sprinkle some petals around the table.