On this page, you will find a place setting template to help you set the table for five different events. A table setting diagram is helpful to avoid confusion regarding what goes where when setting the table.
If you’re wondering how to set a table and what goes where check out these simple tips for the proper place setting for your next event or party.
How to Set a Table
Have you ever wondered if you’ve placed the fork, spoon, or napkin in the correct spot on the table? Or, maybe you’re planning a more formal get together and aren’t quite sure where the salad fork is supposed to go.
This simple guide will give you an idea of what goes where on your table.
A formal place setting is different from a casual table setting, but there are a few basic rules you should follow no matter which option you choose. Check out the helpful diagrams below to decide which one is best for you.
Informal table setting
This would be used for a casual party or affair where you only have one or two simple courses. You may have a main dish, salad, and soup. Or, it would work well with a main dish, salad, and dessert.
You will have a salad and dinner fork to the left. And, the knife, teaspoon and soup spoon would be to the right. The glasses will always be placed at the top right of the plate and the napkin is placed on top of the plate.
Casual lunch setting
Another option you might be considering would add a bread and butter plate to the top left of the dinner plate. And, it may also add a dessert spoon horizontally near the glass.
This casual table setting is perfect for a business luncheon or a meeting where you’ll be serving a casual buffet-style meal where everyone serves themselves.
How to set a table for breakfast
If you’re gathering for a late breakfast or brunch, the breakfast table setting is the one you should use. It’s very similar to the lunch option above. But, there will be no dessert spoon or salad fork. And, you should place the napkin to the left rather than across the plate.
Formal table setting
If you’re planning on having a formal affair like a wedding or an anniversary party, this formal place setting is the setup that you’ll use when you prepare the tables. This is one of the more detailed ways to prepare your table.
You will have forks for your salad, fish, and the main entrée placed to the left for a formal dinner table setting. A formal setting that is not for dinner may not include the fish fork. See the place setting diagram below.
Knives for dinner, fish, and the salad will be to the right along with the soup spoon. The dessert spoon and cake fork will be at the top.
The wine glasses, water glass, cup, and saucer will be placed at the top right. And, the bread plate and butter knife will be to the left. Put the napkin on the top of the plate along with a name card indicating who will be sitting there.
If you’re wondering how to set a table for dinner, you can use either of these options. It really depends on how many courses you’ll be serving and what type of food you’ll have.
How to set a place setting
When considering how to set a table, choose the option that seems best suited to the event or party you’re having. If you aren’t planning on serving dessert or salad, you can obviously leave those options out.
There are a few rules that will be common in all of these choices. Wine and water glass placement will be at the top right of the plate.
Forks go to the left. And, knives and spoons generally go to the right.
The bread and butter plate will be at the top left and the coffee cup and saucer will be placed at the top right when it’s time for dessert.
While we don’t usually get quite this formal for meals at home, it can be fun to create a special meal or romantic evening and go all out.
Or, why not plan a lunch with the kids and teach them how to set a table and proper table setting etiquette. You might want to get a table setting placemat with a diagram to help younger kids learn where everything goes.