Published on July 31, 2017 by Marc & Mandy

Ever wonder how to properly set a table? Keep reading for event planner and decorator, Rick Mayhew’s expert-level step-by-step.

Step 1: Dinner Plate 

Step 1 is simple enough in that it involves only one element of the table setting, (and arguably the most important): the dinner plate. Simply place the plate directly in front of where each guest will be seated. Place your plate as close to the edge of the table as possible to better avoid crumbs and spillage. 

Step 2: Dinner Cutlery

Your cutlery should sit perpendicular to the edge of the table, surrounding the dinner plate. Begin with your knife, placing it on the right hand side of the plate, with the teeth facing in towards the plate. The soup spoon goes to the right of the knife. On the left side the dinner plate is where the dinner and salad forks go. The dinner fork should be immediately left of the plate, and the salad fork should go left of the dinner fork. You have a little flexibility in terms of fork layout here: either line the salad fork up with the dinner fork, or you can stagger it, placing it slightly higher than the dinner fork, to better frame the plate.

Step 3: Dessert Cutlery

The dessert fork is placed horizontally above the dinner plate, where it will sit parallel to the edge of the table. Following the dessert fork is the coffee/tea spoon, which should be placed on top of the dessert fork, in the opposite direction. What you should have now, is a plate framed on three sides by cutlery.

Step 4: Glasses

Your glass, wine or otherwise, should be placed towards the top right of the plate, sitting in the area between your knife/soup spoon and your dessert fork/coffee spoon.

If you’re working with multiple glasses, you want to arrange them by height, with the tallest glass farthest away from the guest. the water glass should be closest to the guest. If you’re serving coffee or tea, place the cup and saucer above your setting, near to the coffee/tea spoon.

Step 5: Bread Plate

Much like step 1, step 5 will be a breeze comparatively. Simple place your bread plate to the left of your entire setting. 


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