Rules for the Right Cutlery Table Setting

We spend so much of time picking up the right cutlery for us, but how many of us are aware of the right way to place cutlery on the table! Whether the fork needs to be on the right side of the dining plate, should the salad spoon be kept alongside the salad fork and so forth. We all are always muddled up when it comes to using the right cutlery for food, salad or dessert! So, what are the basic rules to get the table setting right for the next dining occasion? Let’s take you through the three types of table settings – Formal and Informal.

Before finalizing which table setting to opt for, one must be aware of the fact that how much formal or informal the occasion or event is going to be.  This, in turn, will be decided on various factors like how many course meals will be served to the guests and how you wish to serve it!

This goes without saying that cutlery sets play a pivotal role in getting the right table setting. One may pick from a variety of cutlery sets ranging from the 16 piece set, 24 pieces set, 26 pieces set, 30 pieces set, 32 pieces set and 44 pieces set.

Formal Setting

Start with placing the dinner plate at the center of the setting and a folded napkin neatly placed on top of it. Lay the knives and spoons on the right of the plate while the fork is neatly placed on the left side of the plate. In a few table settings, the hosts also prefer placing a majestic charger plate below the dining plate to enhance the look.


Talking about the cutlery pieces, the dinner fork is placed immediately next to the dinner plate on the left side, followed by the salad fork. While on the right side of the plate, the dinner spoon is laid next to the dinner plate placemat, then place the dinner spoon followed by the salad knife. Side plates are to be positioned on the left side of the dinner plate and the glass of water or wine on the right side. The dessert spoon is placed on the top of the dinner plate while the dessert fork is placed beneath the dessert spoon.

One thing to be taken into the consideration is that informal style table setting, the cutlery pieces are arranged in an order that one starts using the pieces kept outside. This style of table setting is usually popular at pre-wedding ceremonies or official dinner meetings at home. Besides the dinner plate and cutlery sets, one must not forget to dress up the tablescape with a centerpiece at the middle of the table, accompanied with candles.

Informal Setting

This is one of the most popular table setting embraced across the globe. The charger plate is not used in this style of table setting. While the right and left side cutlery arrangement remain the same, one may give a miss to the dessert fork from the top of the dinner plate. One must not spend much time in decorating the tablescape in this form of a table setting.

Now, that you have a complete guide on which table setting is appropriate for your events and occasions, go on and get ready to host an evening with confidence and elan.

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