How to Set a Formal Dinner Table

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How to Set a Formal Dinner Table

The meal may be fabulous and all, but before you start dishing out the different elegant courses, wouldn’t it be great if you prepare the table first? Knowing how to set a table properly for special and formal occasions is a very useful skill, and will certainly impress your family and guests. Here’s a guide to help you accomplish this.

What You’ll Need:

  • Table
  • Tablecloth
  • Table napkins
  • Cutlery and eating utensils
  • Chinaware
  • Name cards (optional)


  1. Know how many people to expect. This will let you determine how many places you need to prepare for the meal, and whether you need to get out extra chairs. If you expect a few kids, make them sit at a children’s table. If there’s only one or two, though , booster chairs might be better.
  2. dinner table

  3. Expect where everyone sits. For example, the one in charge of the meal sits nearest to the kitchen door. Parents must be beside their children. The host sits at the head of the table. If there’s a fairly large party, it’s good to seat together guests who’d interact well with each other. To make it easier for everyone, you can put name cards on their places, so they won’t be lost when the time to eat comes.
  4. Prepare the tablecloth. This makes the table look more elegant. The tablecloth must hang down for at least 1 ½ feet. If you’re using a white damask tablecloth, put a pad underneath it so it won’t slip. Arrange the middle crease, so it runs in an unwavering and straight line down the table’s center, from the head to the foot.
  5. Once the tablecloth’s set, you can now move on to the napkins. Fold them and put in each place’s center. If you want, you can create different shapes with your napkins. Here are some napkin-folding styles you can try.
  6. Put the dinner fork at the napkin’s left. To the left of the dinner fork, place the salad fork.
  7. Position the salad plate at the left of the two forks. Don’t put the dinner plates on the table yet; in formal events, the dinner plates are not on the table when the guests sit down.
  8. At the right of the napkin, put a knife, the sharp edge facing towards the plate. If you’re serving tough meat, like steak or chicken, make sure you use steak knives.
  9. Put the dessert spoon at the right of the knife. The soup spoon must be at the right of the dessert spoon.
  10. If you’re serving dinner rolls, put a bread plate and a butter knife a couple of inches above the forks.
  11. Above the knife, put a water goblet. At the right of the goblet, a bit closer to the guest, put a wine glass. Your crystal glasses must be clean and sparkling. Here are some tips on cleaning crystal.
  12. At the right of the setting, put a saucer and cup, if serving tea or coffee after the meal. Include a coffee spoon.

A beautiful table setting will complement a delicious meal perfectly. With these easy steps, this won’t be a problem at all.

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