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How To Set The Dining Room Table

When we have a dinner party or holiday celebration, some dinners are more formal or more casual than others. I've included three different place settings that should help you with setting your dining table. Bookmark this article so you have it for the next celebration to refer back to.


The informal place setting is great for a dinner party with friends or a festive holiday dinner .

The charger is used to hold the place for the next course as each plate/bowl are removed. It is optional for an informal dinner but is often used to add a decorative touch to the dining table.

If you will be serving a red and a white wine for different courses, the second wine glass would set where the coffee cup is and the coffee cup would move lower on the right side.

The salad fork is on the farthest left side of the napkin and would be used first.

1. Placemat

2. Napkin

3. Salad Fork

4. Dinner Fork

5. Bread Plate and Butter Knife

6. Charger - the charger is optional for a informal place setting

7. Salad Plate or Soup Bowl

8. Dinner Plate

9. Knife

10. Spoon

11. Dessert spoon or fork

12. Water Glass

13. Wine Glass

14. Coffee Cup



The Formal Place Setting is used for a formal dinner, wedding or high end restaurant.

1. Table Cloth

2. Fish fork -If there is a fish course, this small fork is placed to the left of the dinner fork because it is the first fork used.

3. Dinner fork

4. Salad Fork- If the salad is served after the entrée, the small salad fork is placed to the right of the dinner fork, next to the plate. If the salad is to be served first, and fish second, then the forks would be arranged (left to right): salad fork, fish fork, dinner fork.

5. Charger

6. Napkin can go on top of the charger or to the left of the forks

7. Dinner Knife

8. Fish Knife

9. Salad Knife-If used, according to the above menu, it would be placed to the left of the dinner knife, next to the dinner plate. If the salad is to be served first, and fish second, then the knives would be arranged (left to right): dinner knife, fish knife, salad knife.

10. Spoon- Fruit or soup Spoon -If soup or fruit are served first, then the spoon goes to the right of the knives.

11. Oyster Fork- If shellfish are to be served, this fork goes to the right of the spoons.

(Remember the flying oyster scene in the movie Pretty Woman?)

12. Bread plate and Butter Knife

13. Salt and Pepper

14. Place Card


The glasses are placed in the order they will be used. When there are more than three glasses you can place the smaller glasses in front of the others. Glasses are removed with each course they are used for.

15. Water Glass

16. Red Wine Glass

17. White Wine glass

18. Sherry Glass or Champagne Flute - to accompany the first course or for the opening toast

19. Coffee cup



This place setting is used for a casual dinner. Only the pieces that are needed are used in this place setting.

1 .Placemat

2. Napkin

3. Fork

4. Salad Plate or Soup Bowl

5. Dinner Plate

6. Dinner Knife

7. Soup Spoon

8. Water Glass

9. Wine Glass

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