Tips & Tricks

How to Set a Table: Formal & Casual Place Setting Basics

Table place setting is about more than following rules—but everyone needs to start somewhere! If you're putting together a basic table setting with a modern dinnerware set, time-tested rules are in place to not just keep the table well organized when people come together. They also keep traditions going strong, which is, of course, so important on special occasions like Thanksgiving or Christmas. We know it’s daunting to set a well-dressed table for a special occasion for the first time, so we put together a handy guide to get you there.  

Formal Table Settings for Special Occasions 

When hosting a holiday formal dinner, special celebration, or a once-in-a-lifetime event, this formal place setting elevates the table for moments you want to remember forever. 


How to Set a Formal Place Setting 

Step 1. Build your table from the bottom up, starting with the base layer of traditional dinnerware designed to let you fill up on full course meals. Stack dinner plates and salad or accent plates atop each other so that guests use the smaller dishes first.   

Step 2. Next, add your flatware or cutlery set: on the left, set out a salad fork (the smaller, appetizer-sized fork) and place fork (the larger, feast-sized dinner fork). On the right, add a dinner knife or place knife and