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Table Setting Diagram and Dinner Etiquette Reminders

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To your horror, as you approach the beautiful table setting, you are shocked by the army of utensils staring back at you. It looks like someone got carried away since you suddenly feel like you need a table setting diagram just to eat your meal with class.

Listen, I totally understand that walking into a super-duper fancy meal can be a bit intimidating; however, you should feel honored that your friend went through all that trouble. 

Despite what anyone says, entertaining takes work, and it involves a measure of stress. Creating a delicious meal and table decor to match is no easy task, and it requires cleaning, prepping to gets things ready. 

So, please try to resist the urge to embarrass your well-meaning buddy if pizza and beer are more your thing.

Table of Contents

Table Setting 101

If you just reminder 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

Formal table setting diagram

Dining Etiquette Reminders

Although your friend will give you a free pass when it comes to proper dining etiquette, I wanted to include a few reminders on this post. At some point, you may be invited to a fancy wedding or business meal, and you’ll be grateful for these reminders.

Dinner etiquette 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

The Correct Way To Set The Dinner Table

Courtesy of  The Royal Butler

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 tines. 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. 

In 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 on 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. Here’s some inspiration on a simple tablescaping idea that you could easily copy.

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. 

Easy breezy lemon squeezy 😊

Pretty table setting

For more home styling tips and tricks drop by anytime. Hey, we’re always up for company.

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Rebecca

Die-hard DIYer, home enthusiast and sometimes I cook :-)

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Cookie

    Very informative posts. Love the videos and photos (-:

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