Setting the Perfect Table

I was very fortunate that my parents made sure that along with good table manners, they taught me how to set a proper table. I am always amazed at how few people know how to do it correctly. Whether you are hosting a family dinner, bridal or baby shower, a ladies luncheon, or a dinner parties, I thought I would share these diagrams with you. Now, no matter what the occasion, you will have a perfectly set table!

The basic concept is really simple, you work from the outside toward the plate. So, if you are serving a salad and then a main course, you would place the salad fork outside of the dinner fork on the left side of the plate. The forks are never placed on top of the napkin, to make it simple for your guests to easily remove their napkin and place it on their laps. And on the right side of the plate are the knives and spoons with the knife always closest to the plate, blade facing the plate. This helps protect anyone from cutting themselves as they reach for it. It is really pretty simple and just takes a little practice to become comfortable with.

Family Dinner Table Setting

Formal Dinner Table Setting

Luncheon Table Setting

Original diagrams available at: