How To Set Up Tables
Every culture has a different method of setting up tables for a formal meal. North Americans have a particular style of table setting that is an integral step of formal dining etiquette. Impress your dinner guests by learning where to place the dining ware, silverware, and napkins.
What you will need:
- Table cloth
- Lay the tablecloth on the table. Make sure all of the sides are even and smooth out wrinkles and lines. Important: Use a table cloth that is appropriate for the size of the dinner table.
- Place the center piece in the middle of the table. Choose a simple center piece that matches the table cloth—candles, flowers, etc. The centerpiece should be low so your guests don't have to maneuver themselves to talk to one another across the table.
- Set the plates and bowls. Place the plate about an inch away from the edge of the table. If you are having soup or salad, place a bowl in the middle of the plate.
- Set the silverware. Place the knife on the right of the plate with the teeth facing the plate. Place the spoon on the right of the knife with the bowl of the spoon facing upward. The handles of the spoon and knife should be level with each other. Place the fork on the left side of the plate with the handle on the same level as the spoon and knife.
- Fold and place the napkins. Fold the napkin neatly in vertical halves. Place the napkin on the left side of the fork with the folded edge facing away from the fork. The bottom edge of the napkin should be level with the handle of the fork.
- Place the cups. Put the cup on the right side of the plate above the knife. The cup should line up with the point of the knife.