Basic Table Setting

A properly set table is a great introduction to a fabulous meal. Stylish place settings are ideal for creating an extraordinary dining experience.

Here are some tips for creating a basic table setting for your next special occasion:

  • When setting the dinner table, place settings should be evenly spaced and flatware should be balanced.
  • Dinner plates should be spaced far enough apart to allow guests adequate elbow room.
  • Silverware is placed in the order that it will be used, from the outside in. Don't put out utensils that won't be used.
    • Forks are placed on the left side of the plate.
    • Knives and Spoons on the right side of plate
  • Napkins should be cloth and are placed left of the forks or on the plate. Get creative and use a decorative napkin fold as an added signature touch.  (simple napkin fold tutorial) 
  • Bread and Butter plate with Spreader is placed above the forks to the left of the plate.
  • If you are serving dessert, the selected silverware is placed above the plate with the fork handle pointing to the left or the spoon or knife handle pointing right.  If you like, you can bring out the dessert silverware when the dessert is being served.
  • Beverage glasses are placed above the knives in a diagonal slant going from biggest to smallest.
  • If coffee is being served, place cup and saucer to the right of the setting, with the coffee spoon on the right side of the saucer. You can also bring the coffee out with dessert.



  • Place knives with their cutting edge towards the plate, and make sure all of the utensil handles line up. If possible, remove the used utensils after each course.
  • The napkin goes to the left of the fork, or on the plate.
  • The bread and butter knife are optional
  • Dress up your place settings with napkin rings
  • Make personalized place cards for each guest.

Note: Use the diagram above as your guide when arranging your place settings.

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