The Art of a Formal Dinner Setting


Have you ever had the need, or yearning, to host a formal dinner party? If you are new to this, you probably have anxiety just thinking about it. A formal dinner setting traces back centuries in America and Europe. Back then, the host would have butlers or footmen spend hours setting the table, making sure their work was done precise. Obviously, modern America is quite different than it was centuries ago, so it is not important to go to these lengths. However, it is important to follow the basic rules.


Before you start picking out what you will be using, it is important to determine the theme and overall mood of the setting. It should suit the feel of your home, so it doesn’t feel out of place. The glasses, dinner plates and cutlery should complement one another. The linen used on your table should always be of higher quality, that’s what gives the more elegant feeling of your setting.

Now, let’s get the setting put together. Put the service plate at the center of your place setting, everything else will center around this. Once you have your service plate, place the plate that you will use for your first course, and napkin. The next step is to add your forks to the left of the service plate. We put the forks in order from when we will use them. Place the first fork you will use on the outside, and then in order from there. The same goes for the spoons, and knifes on the right side, work from the outside in of what you will use first.



Now the last step is to add the glasses and barware to the setting. You will place the glass to the right of the center plate, but above the cutlery on the right. The water glass should be aligned with the dinner knife, and the wine glass should be placed to the right.

Since you now know the basics, you will be able to have the perfect formal dinner party for friends and family without feeling too overwhelmed.

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