How to Set a Formal Table

I love hosting dinner parties and events. And while stand up events with tons of guests are fun, sit down dinners with close friends can be amazing! But not if you’re eating off paper plates with plastic forks. I mean maybe it will be just as fun but….. imagine how much more fun it would be if you were sitting at a formally set table enjoying sophisticated conversation. Or not…. Anyways at some point in your life (Holidays, dinner parties, etc) you’ll have to set a formal table - and this is your guide for how to do it.

  • Center a large plate on placemat.
  • Fold a napkin and center it on the plate.
  • Place a dinner knife to the right of the plate with the cutting edge facing the plate.
  • Place any additional knives and spoons to the right of that in outside order. Meaning whatever you use first will go on the outside (shellfish or soup or salad) and work your way in.
  • Place the dinner fork to the left of the plate.
  • Again, place any additional forks in outside order.
  • Above the forks, place a butter plate with a butter knife laying across it.
  • Above the knives, place a glass. If you’re serving champagne put the the flute to the right of the other glass.
  • Finally dessert silverware and plates should come out when the desserts are served.
  • I also suggest a centerpiece like flowers or candles. Name cards should be placed directly in front of the plate or on top of the napkin.

So this is how to set a formal dining table! Hopefully this will help you set up for your next big formal event or make an evening with friends a little more fancy. Share pictures of your formal set up for a chance to be featured on social media!



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