With the holiday season upon us, most of us will find ourselves hosting at least one dinner party of some sort. And, although your food and hospitality takes center stage, it’s always nice to set a beautiful and inviting table.

In addition to choosing the color scheme and table decorations, you will also be laying out the place setting for each of your guests. Did you know how you place your china, glassware and flatware are based on the formality of your dinner?

Whether you’re having a casual get together or an ultra formal affair we’ve got you covered. See the diagrams below that show exactly where each item should be placed, as well as a few general guidelines you can use to confidently set the table for your next get together.

Informal Place Setting

diagram of an informal place setting

Formal Place Setting

diagram of an informal place setting

Ultra-Formal Place Setting with Multiple Courses

diagram of an ultra formal placesetting

Regardless of the formality, here are a few helpful hints:

  1. Each place should be set with all the glasses that will be used during the dinner, in the order they will be used.
  2. Only the bread plate and a charger (if you are using one) are actually part of the place setting, other pieces may be brought out as the course is served and should be cleared as the course is finished.
  3. When setting out the flatware, regardless of formality or course: set the pieces out in the order they will be used.
  4. It is perfectly okay to mix and match your china, glassware and flatware, but try to keep the same sort of formality with all the pieces. Also try to find a unified theme or color.

And finally, keep in mind – a beautiful table is based on beautiful linens – to make sure yours always look their best you should have them professionally cleaned after each use.



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