Table Setting Diagram and Dinner Etiquette Reminders

Table Setting Diagram and Dinner Etiquette Reminders

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To your horror, as you approach the beautiful table setting, you are shocked by the army of utensils staring back at you. It looks like someone got carried away since you suddenly feel a list of instructions or a diagram is in order.

Listen, I totally understand walking into a super-duper fancy meal can be a bit intimidating. However, you should feel honored that your friend went through all that trouble, creating a yummy meal and beautiful decor to match.

Despite what anyone says, entertaining takes work, and it involves a measure of stress. Cleaning, prepping, and getting things ready. So, please try to resist the urge to embarrass your well-meaning buddy if pizza and beer are more your thing.

Table Setting 101

If you just reminder this one thing, you’ll be fine. Work from the outside in, beginning with the utensils that are furthest away from the plate. Forks don’t like to mingle with other utensils and want to hang out on the left. The “other” utensils such as knives, spoons, and any extras go on the right.

Okay, you only need to place utensils that are necessary for the meal you are providing. Got it? Well, just in case….

Formal Table Setting Diagram

Formal table setting diagram

Dining Etiquette Reminders

Although your friend will give you a free pass when it comes to proper dining etiquette, I wanted to include a few reminders on this post. At some point, you may be invited to a fancy wedding or business meal, and you’ll be grateful for these reminders.

Where Should You Sit

To prevent any risk of embarrassment, don’t make any assumptions. Wait for a signal from the host on when and where to be seated. It would be awkward if you were the first one seated and then asked to move to another location.

During The Meal

  • Cell phones do not belong at the dinner table - period!
  • Keep your elbows off the table and don’t slouch.
  • Even if you’re hungry, wait to begin eating after most of the table has already started, including the host.
  • Order food that can be eaten with a knife and fork. Finger foods are messy and distracting.
  • Don’t talk with your mouth full.
  • It’s bad manners to season the food before tasting it.
  • If asked to pass either salt or pepper, always give them together.
  • After using your utensils, rest them on your plate and not the table.
  • If you leave the table, place your napkin on your chair. At the end of the meal, your dirty napkin should be set to the left of the plate.

In Conclusion

Well, that about wraps up all the top dinner etiquette rules I tend to follow. Yep, there’s a bunch more, but if I mentioned all of them, I’m afraid you would never show up for any fancy meal. Just take a mental note of the table setting diagram and remember to work from the outside in.

Personally, in the last couple of years, I have entertained by displaying appetizers since I find it less stressful and more enjoyable for our guests anyway. You’ll find some tips on my post – Seven Last-Minute Entertaining Hacks.  

Of course, there is no reason to skip out on the pretty table settings.  At some point, everyone is going to have to sit down to enjoy their food, so I still set up my dining room table. Here’s some inspiration on a simple tablescaping idea which you could easily copy.

Allow your flowers or table linens to set the color pallet.

Set your food in the middle of the table, toss in a few candles for ambiance, and sprinkle some petals around the table. 

Easy breezy lemon squeezy 😊

Pretty table setting

For more home styling tips and tricks drop by anytime. Hey, we’re always up for company.

Table Setting Diagram and Dinner Etiquette Reminders
Table Setting Diagram and Dinner Etiquette Reminders. We’ll be discussing table settings for parties, every day, and easy ways to create a tablescape.
Table Setting Diagram and Dinner Etiquette Reminders. We’ll be discussing table settings for parties, every day, and easy ways to create a tablescape.

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