Having a few guests over for Easter lunch? Master the proper way to set the table for different dinner arrangements. Depending on the affair, table settings change. If having a formal dinner party, the table setting is different from say, an informal party. Get your table setting guidelines here, and never be in doubt again when it comes to which side the fork is on, where the butter plate is set!
Informal Table Setting
For the informal dinner, the plate is set in the center as the ‘hub of the wheel’. Your two forks are placed to the left of the plate, with the smaller salad fork on the outside, with the larger fork next to the plate. The napkin is placed either to the left of the forks or on the dinner plate. To the right side of the plate, the dinner knife is set, with the cutting edge facing forward. Spoons go to the right of the knife. Your drinking glasses, water, wine, and juice are placed at the top right of the dinner plate, above the knives and spoons. If bread and butter are being served, the bread plate goes above the forks with butter knife placed diagonally.
Formal Table Setting
The one rule for a formal table is to have everything equally geometrically spaced. A formal table is a well-balanced table. For the well-balanced place setting, your plate goes in the center of the setting. A folded napkin is typically placed on the plate or to the left of the plate. The utensils are placed in order of use, outside in. Working outside in from the left of the plate, you begin with the fish or salad fork, then the dinner fork which is placed alongside the plate.
On the right side of the plate, working outside in is the soup spoon. Next is the teaspoon, and the dinner knife placed directly to the right of the plate. The glasses are placed above the utensils on the right side of the plate. Place the smaller glasses up front, closest to the plate. The water goblet is placed directly above the knives. Just to the right sits the wine goblet. Next to that is the sherry or champagne glass. To the upper left of the plate, above the forks, is the butter plate with butter knife laid diagonally across.
Basic Table Setting
The basic table setting is simple and easy. Teach your kids and they can set the table for you! The plate goes in the center, with dinner fork directly to the left of the plate. The napkin is placed outside the fork. The knife is placed to the right of the plate and the spoon is placed next to the knife. The water glass is placed above the knife.
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