Table Setting

Place Setting Guide: The Correct Way To Lay A Table

Ever been unsure about any aspect of table setting? Check out the traditional way to set a formal table…

Table Setting


1. Knives and spoons: go on the right of each plate setting.

2. Forks: go on the left of the plate.

3. Order of placing: cutlery is always arranged in the order in which it will be used, starting from the outside.

4. Facing: Forks are placed with the prongs facing upwards and knife blades should face inwards (towards the plate).

5. Dessert or fruit course: if special knives are needed, these are generally brought on with the fruit.

6. Pudding spoon and fork: this is sometimes put above place setting in order to save space on the table. The fork should be pointing to the left. Put the spoon above the fork with its handle to the right.

7. Buffet parties: wrap each knife and fork in a napkin. Put them near the plates so that the guests can pick them up before moving on to the food. Place the dessert spoon and forks near the pudding plates.

Table Place Setting Wedding EtiquetteAbove: Sweet September Story – Eleanor and James’ Green and Pink Real Wedding by Douglas Fry Photography


1. Lay side plates on the left of the setting.

2. Other plates are generally brought in with each course.

3. If food has to be eaten with fingers, provide finger bowls of warm water with a slice of lemon.

4. A simply folded napkin is laid on the side plate (on the left) or to one side of the glasses (on the right). If it is arranged in a complicated fold, it goes in the centre of the setting or on the side plate.

Wedding Etiquette China TeacupsAbove: Pink and Blue, I Love You – Claire and Conal’s Real Wedding


1. If you are serving a single wine, put the wine glass just above the tip of the meat knife.

2. For more than one wine, provide a different glass for each wine.

Wine and Glasses Wedding EtiquetteAbove: Vintage Lace, Orange and Roses – Lucy and Stevie’s Real Wedding by Richard Milnes Photography

Find lots more Party advice in our article pages, and discuss this topic and any other with hundreds of brides and brides-to-be in our forums!

Cake Serving Sets and Toasting FlutesAbove, a selection of wedding cake serving sets and toasting flutes. Clockwise from the left: Calla Lily Cake Serving Set | Toasting Flutes with Silver Plated Stem and Glass Flute | Sculptural White Tiger Lillies Theme Collection


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