A pastime commonly forgotten, setting a formal dinner table, is becoming more important to learn. For those who have chosen to throw a party for your friends or family, there are a lot of things to consider. In order to have a proper table at your dinner party, you must learn the basics. Though there are many variations of table settings, some basic rules always apply.
It is easiest to start your table setting with the dinner plate. The dinner plate should be set in the middle of the place setting, one to two inches from the table’s edge. Glasses and wine glasses should go to top right of the plate. If it is a more formal dinner, butter should go to the top left of the dinner plate. Salad plates can either be to the top left or stacked on top of the dinner plate.
The silverware goes in the order you will use it; from the outside in, towards the plate. The spoons go to the left of the plate, while the forks and knives go to the right. The silverware should all point up and the knives’ blades should face toward the dinner plate. After each course, the used utensils should be removed.
There are a few different options for the napkin. It should be cloth for a formal dinner. If using napkin rings, pull the napkins through and place them to the left of the forks. Napkins can also be folded in half and placed to the left of the forks. A third option is to fold the napkin decoratively and place it on top of the dinner plate.
When setting the table, remember to leave ample space for each dinner guest. It is customary for place settings to be about two feet apart, from center of one dinner plate to the center of the next dinner plate. This allows for enough elbow room for each guest.
But the most important thing to remember when having your dinner party is to enjoy the food and the company and you are certain to have a great time!