Whether you are planning an informal or formal dinner party a proper place setting is especially important and sets the tone for the entire evening. Many experts have more detailed ideas regarding a perfect place setting; however, arrangement and creativity are the keys to an artful and unique setting perfect for your style. Whatever the occasion here are some general guidelines that will allow you to add your own creative twist!
The Everyday Basic Table Setting
The Everyday Basic Table Setting is probably the most common place setting we all use. If you have monogrammed napkins, make sure that the monogram is on the corner that faces downward toward the edge of the table. A few additional points to remember: the knife blades always face the plate and the bread and butter plate and knife are optional. Use your silverware from the outside in. Let the plates be your guide. You will build on this basic setting when creating an informal and formal table setting.
We created the basic table setting above by using items from our retail store that include Vietri flatware and glassware, a Daisy Hill placemat, Dransfield and Ross napkins, L’Objet salt and pepper and Antheor tabletop.
Informal Table Setting
An informal dinner usually consists of a three-course menu including soup or salad, entrée and dessert. This builds on the basic place setting to create an informal arrangement. All napkins at this point should be cloth and you should allow two feet from plate center to plate center at your table setting- all other items should be equally balanced around the table. Optional dishes include: bread and butter plate, salad plate, dessert spoon and fork, and coffee cup and saucer.
We created the informal table setting above using Vietri flatware, glassware, salt and pepper and Incanto patterned tabletop. Alligator serving piece from Arthur Court, Daisy Hill placemat, Kim Seybert napkin, Dransfield and Ross napkin ring and seder tree serving piece from Michael Aram.
We had to share a detail shot of these fabulous octopus napkin rings!
Formal Table Setting
A formal dinner usually consist of a five-course menu. Not limited to but including an appetizer, soup, salad, entrée and dessert. Your menu will dictate what utensils, china, and drinkware you will use, hence, you may not need all the utensils shown in the image above. Once again, creating balance among all the items on the table is essential to avoid clutter and to maintain a formal table setting.
Our formal place setting includes tabletop by Antheor, flatware by Vietri, glassware by Vietri, Kim Seybert napkin and napkin ring, Frances Stoia placemat and Sylvie Goldmark salt and pepper.
Above is an additional informal table setting that we created for a beautiful spring luncheon table.
For this tablescape we used Antheor china, Vietri flatware, Vietri glassware,Kim Seybert napkin, Kim Seybert placemat and Michael Aram salt and pepper.
Additional Table Setting Helpful Hints Include:
- A great way to remember where the bread and butter plate goes is to make a lowercase ‘b’ with your fingers. The left hand will show a lowercase ‘b’ and this will be the side you place your bread and butter plate. Try it!
- Always work from the outside in with your utensils.
- Be creative with your selection of placemats, chargers, and napkin rings.
- Bread and butter plate and knife should be set at 11 a.m. and your water glass should be placed at your 2 p.m. location.
Table setting images and some content from EmilyPost.com.