How to Set a Dining Table from Everyday to Formal Meals
Does setting a dining table stress you out a little? Do you want to know how to correctly set a table? You aren’t alone! This is a question more people ask than you might think.
Follow this easy step-by-step guide for how to set a dining table, from your everyday to formal meals.
Growing up, many of us grabbed the utensils, napkins, and plates, and just put them down on the table with no care where they went. There is nothing wrong with this – for your immediate family, that is. But when you are setting a table for a social gathering, it is obvious (to those that know) when the dishes and utensils aren’t in the correct place.
Don’t stress! Setting a proper table doesn’t need to be intimidating. This easy step-by-step guide will answer your questions on how to set a table. It will give you the confidence that you have set your table correctly. And the next time you are at a dinner party, you won’t be the one asking which bread plate is yours.
How to set the dining table for your Everyday meal
What you need: 1 plate, 1 knife, 1 spoon, 1 fork, 1 glass, 1 napkin
- Plate: center it directly in front of the chair, one inch from the edge of the table
- Knife and spoon: the knife is placed to the right of the plate (*knife edge/blade faces the plate) and the spoon is to the right of the knife
- Napkin: place it on the left side of the plate
- Fork: goes on top of the napkin
- Glass: place it in the upper right corner of the plate, above the knife
How to set an Informal/Casual table
What you need: add 1 bread plate and knife, 1 salad plate and 1 salad fork, 1 soup bowl and 1 soup spoon, and 1 wine glass (white or red)
- Use the Everyday Table Setting to start
- Bread plate and bread knife: add the bread plate above the fork and rest the bread knife across the plate, with the handle pointing toward the glasses.
- Salad fork: if you will be serving salad, place the salad fork to the left of the dinner fork (salad fork is smaller)
- Soup spoon: if you will be serving soup, put the soup spoon to the right of the dinner spoon (soup spoon is wider than the dinner spoon)
- Salad plate and soup bowl: the soup bowl goes on top of the salad plate, which goes on top of the dinner plate
- Wine glass: place it to the right of the water glass, above the dinner plate
How to set a Formal Table place setting:
What you need: add 1 charger plate, 1 fish fork, 1 oyster fork, 1 dessert spoon or cake fork, 1 wine glass, 1 place card
- Start with the Informal Table Setting
- Charger plate: place it under the dinner plate. A charger plate is just for decoration. It doesn’t serve a purpose when eating, but it really dresses up a table and provides a sense of elevated dining.
- Fish fork: place it to the left of the salad fork (not included in photo)
- Oyster fork: this is the only fork that goes on the right side of the plate. Place it to the right of the soup spoon. (not included in photo)
- Dessert spoon or cake fork: place horizontally above the dinner plate, between the bread plate and water glass
- Wine glass: this is a second wine glass, so you have both red and white wine glasses. The red wine glass is placed to the right of the water glass, and the white wine glass, to the right of the red wine glass.
- Place card (optional): add above the dessert utensil. *Tip: put the guest’s name on both sides, so it is easy to identify.
Now you are all set to conquer your next gathering, from everyday to formal meals. Enjoy!
*Tips to remember when setting a kitchen or dining table:
- Utensils with 4 letters go on the left (l-e-f-t is 4 letters): f-o-r-k.
- Utensils with 5 letters go on the right (r-i-g-h-t is 5 letters): k-n-i-f-e and s-p-o-o-n.
- Place the utensils in the order they will be used: starting from the outside and working in.
- If you don’t have all those different utensils – don’t stress! Just double them up. Use two dinner spoons, instead of a soup and dinner spoon.
- A charger isn’t a must for a formal dinner setting.
- Make the table yours! This is a guide, but if you aren’t serving anything with a spoon – then don’t put out a spoon.
**Bookmark this easy step-by-step guide for how to set a dining table from everyday to formal meals, so you can easily reference it in the future.