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How to Set a Table for Every Occasion

How to Set a Table for Every Occasion

Are you planning a luncheon or dinner party? Surely you have all the food planned but how will you set the table? It doesn’t have to be set perfectly but keep in mind that you probably want to impress your guests, and not forget to give them a soup spoon when it’s time for the steak.

Table setting means the way to set a table with tableware such as flatware, plates, napkins and glassware for serving and eating. This step is often a rushed, last-minute chore which if done the correct way gives a much better impression and shows your good manners.

It is not as difficult as it seems but to make things even easier, we’ve made this handy table setting guide.

Basic Table Setting

The dinner plate is positioned in the center of the place setting and everything else is placed around it. Then, the flatware is arranged around the plate in the order in which it will be used:

  • To the left of the plate is the fork.
  • To the right of the plate is the knife and spoon. The knife is placed to the right of the plate with the sharp edge toward the plate. To the right of the knife is the spoon.
  • A water glass goes above the knife.
  • Napkins can be placed under the forks or on the plate for an informal setting.Table-setting-manners-table-occasion

Informal Dinner or Luncheon Table Setting

Start with a Basic Setting and add these items:

  • If a salad is to be served, the salad fork is placed to the left of the dinner fork. Eliminate the salad fork if no salad is served or place it to the right of the dinner fork to use as a dessert fork if appropriate.
  • If soup is served, set the bowl on the plate and a soup spoon to the right of the beverage spoon.
  • Salad or bread and butter plates go to the left of the forks. Position butter plates above the forks with the butter spreader placed across the plate.
  • Cup and saucer go above the spoons with the handle toward the right. Soda or water glasses can be positioned to the left of the coffee cup.


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Formal Dinner Table Setting

Begin with the setting for an informal dinner or luncheon and add the following:

  • Soda glasses (if necessary) along with the water glasses are positioned to the left of the coffee cup.
  • The beverage, soup and/or dessert spoons are to the right of the knife or can be brought to the table when soup or dessert is served.
  • To dress it up more, place a charger under the dinner plate.


So get going! Set that table and throw the best lunch or dinner party ever and give us your feedback in the comments below!

Self-professed gardener. Often found poking nose into the fridge. Determined to cook and try every dish on the planet, one at a time. #getspicesgetcooking

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