Table Setting Guide

A make-or-break element for any party is a well-appointed dinner table. It has become one of the most important parts of any event including fancy ballroom dining, holiday parties, garden parties, and casual dinner parties. There is more to table setting than folding napkins and placing centerpieces. The art of table setting comes down to a simple five-step process to elevate your dining experience. The steps may vary depending on your party style, occupancy count, cuisine and table size.

The first step to any place setting is centering the table with a colorful runner to set the tone. An optional trick to adding dimensional color to your tabletop is layering two runners, one slightly smaller than the other. The runner should span the entire table and drape over either end to be proper length. Make sure to choose colors that will match the rest of your table settings to keep things cohesive. We decided to use our Vintage California collection to match the table runner.

Phase two involves placing the plates and bowls according to your table size. Place the bread plate on top of the salad bowl to save space and time. Ensure the dinnerware and serveware are designed to be compatible with each other before stacking. Traditionally speaking, the bread plate is placed in the upper left corner and the soup bowl goes on top of the salad plate.

In the third step, place the utensils next to each place setting with the dinner fork placed directly to the left side of each plate with the salad fork added to the furthest left. The knife goes directly to the right of the plate, followed by the spoon with dessert spoons lying horizontally above the plates. If using assigned seating, place a name card above the dessert plate.

The fourth step is placing the drinkware in its proper place. Place the wine and water glass in the upper right with the wine glass behind the water. If you are serving more than one type of wine, place the white wine glass to the left and slightly lower than the red wine glass. If you choose to add a coffee mug, place the mug on a saucer underneath the wine glasses. It’s common to replace drinkware in a formal setting to reduce clutter.

The last and final step includes folding the napkin and placing it on top of the plate stack. To add another focal point to the table, use a napkin ring to adorn your table like jewelry. Mix and match the napkins for a pop of color. To enhance the table setting more, place a beautiful centerpiece such as candles or flowers, just be sure to not block the view of the guests sitting across from each other.

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