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How To Create a Formal Place Setting


It's an occasion worthy of your best china, crystal and silver. But where do all the pieces go? This simple how to will provide your road map to creating a formal place setting.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 5 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Place the service plate on the table directly in front of where guest will be sitting.
  2. Locate the bread and butter plate at the 10:00 position in relation to dinner plate.
  3. The butter knife should be placed on the bread and butter plate in a slight diagonal, pointing to the 11:00 position.
  4. Place water glass at 1:00 position relative to dinner plate and just above knives.
  5. Put red or white wine glass just below and to right of water glass.
  6. Set champagne glass above and to right of red or white wine glass. Finally, set sherry glass to the right of red or white wine glass.
  7. Put dessert spoon above dinner plate in a horizontal position
  8. Place dessert fork above dessert spoon, facing in opposite direction.
  9. Dinner knife should be located to the right of dinner plate.
  10. Place fish knife to the right of dinner knife.
  11. Put soup spoon and the fruit spoon (if used) to the right of dinner knife.
  12. If serving shellfish, oyster fork should be located to the right of soup spoon and/or fruit spoon.
  13. Place salad fork to the left of dinner plate. Put dinner fork next to salad fork.
  14. Place fish fork to the left of the dinner fork.
  15. Place napkin to the left of all forks.


  1. For less formal dinners, remove unnecessary pieces such as fish forks and knives and extraneous wine glasses.
Related Video
Set Up a Formal Dinner Place Setting

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