How To Set Formal Dinner Table

On every occasion whether it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving, closed one’s birthday or any anniversaries, we really enjoy having a memorable dinner with loved ones. Therefore it’s is exciting to almost all the people to plan an amazing dinner and invite guests to it.

While preparing for a dinner we really want to plan a different and elegant way to host a dinner party. Apart from decoration and cooking we love to serve people on a sophisticated dinner table.

That’s why we always want to know how to set a formal and elegant and more like a restaurant dinner table. But as we’re not professional it is tough to decorate.

So for relieving you from thinking let’s know how and what to use to set a formal dinner table.

The number utensilsused to set a formal dinner table varies. It entirely depends on the number of food items and also the kind of the foods. Different continental foods require different setting of dinner table. So here I will provide the way of standard dinner table that is followed mainly in western continent.

As I said it requires number of utensils for different items. But if you set a standard way to set a table, it will subsume wide variety of food items that you can serve at your home.

So things you need to set a formal dinner table are given below. You should follow the given order with the utensils which you will cost you less effort and less time to set a formal dinner table.


1. Charger

Well, charger is the root of a formal dinner table. Don’t worry. It’s not like the mobile phone charger by that you can get the table charged. Charger is a large nice under plate upon where the main dishes like dinner plate, salad are kept.

It must be at the center of the place setting in front of the guest. One more thing is you can use tablecloth under the charger. It depends on the way you like to decorate your dinner table with or without tablecloth or napkin under the charger.



2. Napkins

The second thing that you must put on the table is napkin. Napkins must be very clean. There are two way to keep napkins on a formal dinner table.

  • Folded napkin can be used on a formal table. You have to fold the napkin nicely with different design and put it on top the plates on the charger.
  • Napkin can be put on the left side of charger. The forks can be placed on the napkin or at the right side of the napkin next to the charger. Usually the size of the table determines where to put the napkin. If you have enough space you can keep the napkin alongside the forks otherwise just keep it under the forks.



Knives are always kept at the right side of the charger plate. Dinner knife must be immediate right side of the plate followed by salad knife. If there are any fish courses then place the fish knife right after the dinner knife followed by salad knife. Make sure that the blades of the knives face the plate.



4. Forks

The position of the forks is always at left side. Arrange the forks at the left side of the plate in the way that the first one is on the last from the left. Typically the forks and knives are arranged in order in which they are going to be used starting from the outside.

5. Spoon

If there are any fruits or soup items on the course then place a spoon on the right side of the plate. Spoon must be kept after the knives. So place the spoon at the right most position of the plate.

6. Bread Dishes

Now place the bread dishes on the upper left side of the charger. This position can be assumed as 11 o’clock position. On top of this plate keep a small butter spreader blade facing to the plate and handle on the right.


7. Glasses

Place the water glass above the dinner knife and remember to keep little space between knives and the water glass otherwise the guest will feel very jammed on the table.

If you are serving wine then place the wine glasses in front of the water glass to the plate ending with the sherry glass right to it. In case of serving champagne, a flute goes to the right to the water glass.


8. Dessert plates

You should not put dessert plate or utensils with the main courses. You have to put those items after removing all the staffs used in serving main dishes.

So after finishing the main course, you will bring the dessert plate with typically dessert on it. Now place the dessert utensils as follows; put the dessert spoon at the right and place the dessert fork at the left.

Some Key things to remember:

  • Don’t place oyster fork with forks. Oyster forks are always kept at the right side of the table.
  • One thing you should remember that oyster fork should be served for any kind of shellfish.
  • Don’t put more than three types of one utensil g. three types of fork at the same time on the table.
  • Don’t put flowers or candles very close to plate. Because putting close to the table will make the guest feel very jammed and overfilled. And remember enough space while having dinner is more comfortable than over decorated table.
  • Remember to keep the knives enough sharp.So that the guests find no trouble to use it.
  • Only set any utensil if it is needed. For example, put the soup spoon if the soup is on the dinner courses list.


Here you have a formal and elegant dinner table on that you will just not only serve the guests at the best way but also help you to serve the foods properly and easily. So it’s your time to serve your guest like a popular restaurant. All the best to you!

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