10 Steps to Create a Formal Table Setting
There’s nothing quite as elegant as a dinner table that’s put together with a beautiful table setting for each guest. This can turn an ordinary meal into one that’s extraordinary and make every person at the table feel like they’re part of something special. However, recreating the table settings you see in magazines or on television can turn out to be far more challenging than you anticipate. Even with a keen eye for detail you could miss something, turning your exciting vision into a stressful situation. Fortunately there’s no reason to worry!
The steps below make it e-a-s-y to create a formal table setting that exceeds your expectations.
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Step 1: Place Your Place Mat
Whether you’ve chosen a place mat with a graphic design or one that’s more traditional, it’s the first thing that should go on your clean table. One place mat should go in front of each chair where individual guests will be seated. If these need to be washed or cleaned, now is the time to do it!
Step 2: Place the Plates
Place the largest plate for dinner service directly on top of your place mat. Make sure it’s centered to achieve a more enjoyable aesthetic, then place the salad plate in the middle of this.
Step 3: Place the Bowl
The soup bowl is next in line and should be set directly on top of the salad plate. If you don’t plan on serving soup, then you may want to place an appetizer plate on top of the salad plate instead.
Step 4: Arrange the Left Side of the Setting
The dinner fork is one of the largest in the setting as a whole and should be placed to the left of your plates on the place mat. The smaller salad fork belongs on the left of the dinner fork. Both should also be placed vertically so they line up with the place mat.
Step 5: Arrange the Right Side of the Setting
The service knife, which looks like a butter knife, goes to the right of the plates and on top of the place mat. To the right of this goes the coffee spoon and on the right of that goes the soup spoon.
Step 6: Arrange the Top of the Setting
The cake fork should now be placed just above the place mat in a horizontal position (the fork prongs should be facing right). Above this should go the desert spoon, also in a horizontal position (although the rounded edge should face left).
Step 7: Arrange the Bread and Butter Plate
The small bread and butter plate should be placed at the top left of the setting, just over the corner of the place mat.
Step 8: Arrange the Bread and Butter Knife
The unique bread and butter knife should be placed on top of the bread plate, diagonal to the service plates.
Step 9: Arrange Drinking Glasses
Drinking glasses should be placed at the top right of the setting, off of the place mat. In general, these should be placed in the order of use.
Step 10: Arrange the Napkin
The last step is to position your napkin outside of the place mat on the left hand side. Enjoy!