How To Set The Table

Setting the table is a crucial part of hosting a dinner party or any other event. Knowing how to set the table properly can make a significant difference in the overall presentation and ambiance of the event. In this article, we will discuss the steps required to set the table for a formal dinner party or any other occasion.

Table Setting Basics

The table setting is not only about putting plates and silverware on the table. It is an art that requires attention to detail and understanding of basic table setting principles. Here are some basic steps to follow when setting the table:

Step 1: Use a Tablecloth

The first step in setting the table is to use a tablecloth. A tablecloth adds a layer of elegance to the table and provides a clean and polished look. Make sure to choose a tablecloth that complements the overall theme of the event.

Step 2: Add Placemats

Placemats are not necessary, but they can add texture and color to the table. They also protect the table from spills and stains. If you are using placemats, place them on top of the tablecloth.

Step 3: Set the Plates

The next step is to set the plates. Place the dinner plate in the center of the placemat or directly on the tablecloth. If you are serving a salad or appetizer, place a smaller plate on top of the dinner plate.

Step 4: Add the Silverware

The silverware should be placed on either side of the plate. The fork should be on the left side, and the knife and spoon should be on the right side. If you are serving soup, add a soup spoon on the right side of the knife.

Step 5: Add the Glasses

The glasses should be placed on the right side of the plate, above the knife and spoon. If you are serving wine, place the wine glass on the right side of the water glass.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How many glasses should be on the table?

It depends on the type of event you are hosting. For a formal dinner party, there should be at least two glasses on the table – one for water and one for wine.

Q: Should I use a charger plate?

Charger plates are not necessary, but they can add an extra layer of elegance to the table. If you choose to use a charger plate, place it underneath the dinner plate.

Q: Should I use cloth or paper napkins?

Cloth napkins are more formal and elegant, but paper napkins are more practical for casual events. Choose the type of napkin based on the type of event you are hosting.


Setting the table is an important part of hosting any event. Following these basic steps can help you create a beautiful and elegant table setting that will impress your guests. Remember to pay attention to detail, and choose items that complement the overall theme of the event. With a little bit of effort and planning, you can create a table setting that will leave a lasting impression on your guests.