How to Set a Classic Dinner Table

Figuring out which fork to use for which course can be confusing enough, but having to actually set those forks—and everything else on the table? A recipe for disaster‰Û_ or a chance to strut your etiquette stuff.

You will need

  • A table
  • Enough place settings for everyone

Step 1 Space plates around table Space dinner plates around your table, leaving enough room in between to accommodate cutlery.

Step 2 Place bowls or appetizer plates When applicable, place soup bowls or appetizer plates on top of the dinner plates.

Step 3 Fold napkin If you haven’t used the napkin in the middle of the place setting, fold it and place it to the left of the plate

Step 4 Place silverware Place the knife to the immediate right of the plate with the blade facing in, the dessert spoon to the right of the knife, and the soup spoon on the outside.

Step 5 Place dessert silverware If you’ve placed the dessert-spoon above the plate, place the dessert-fork directly under it, with the tines pointing right. If not, place the dessert-fork to the immediate left of the plate. Place the entree fork to the left of the dessert fork, and the appetizer or salad fork on the outside.

Step 6 Place salad & bread plates Place salad plates to the left of the outermost fork, and bread plates above the forks.

Step 7 Place glasses Put water glasses just above the tip of the knife, and wine glasses to the right of the water glasses. If you’re serving more than one wine, put wine glasses in order of use with the glass to be used last next to the water glass and the glass to be used first on the outside.