Events, Home Decor, Tabletop

How to Properly Set a Table

It may seem like setting a table properly should be a no-brainer to some, however in this day and age, it can be easy to forget the little things that make hosting a dinner party extra special with so much else going on. Believe it or not, setting the table is an oft-overlooked and sometimes forgotten aspect of creating a memorable dining experience for your guests. So just in case you need to brush up on a few dinner etiquette skills, we have outlined a quick and handy guide on how to set a table the right way. Depending on the type of event you are holding in your home, there are both casual and formal ways to approach traditional table settings.

First, let’s start with casual placements. If you plan to hold an informal dinner for close friends without all the bells and whistles, setting the table is incredibly easy:

  • Set down the plate in the middle.
  • Place a napkin on the left side of the plate.
  • Place a fork on top of the napkin.
  • Place a knife and spoon on the right side of the plate. Keep the knife closest to the plate and the spoon on the other side of the knife.
  • Set a glass of water (or any other beverages) on the upper-right side of the plate.



A formal dinner often entails multiple courses, so depending on what is being served, here is how to set a table for high-end affairs where placement perfection is pertinent:

  • Set a salad plate down in the middle.
  • Place a soup bowl on top of the salad plate.
  • Put a napkin on the left side of the plate.
  • Place a salad fork and dinner fork atop the napkin.
  • Place a dinner knife and soup spoon on the right side of the plate, with the knife closest to the plate.
  • Put water, wine, or other beverages above the plate on the top-right.
  • Once dinner arrives, replace the salad plate and soup bowl with a dinner plate in the middle.
  • Replace the soup spoon on the right side with a dinner spoon.


Voila, that’s it! With these helpful tips in mind, you can easily remember how to set the table for both casual get-togethers as well as formal events. Some other things you may want to consider adding to the table include:

Napkin rings
Silver trays
Placecard Holders

Before your next party, take a look at the many elegant offerings Scully & Scully provides for an unforgettable dinner each and every time.

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