Setting the table is a fun job to be assigned to. View it as, you being the painter and the table is your canvas. Add some Dining Etiquette, which play an important part in making a favorable impression. Here are some helpful answers and guides to questions one may have when hosting.

How much space does each guest need at a table?

When you dine, settle in comfortably around the dining table. Measure your space and apply the same chair measurements. Allow approximately 26 inches per guest for elbow room on a three to six guest and 24 inches for six or more.

What table linen choices does one have?

Linens will set your table apart from the ordinary. There are a variety of stylish table linen choices.

Tablecloth: worth adding when you’re hosting a special dinner or want to cover your whole table. The rule of thumb is that for a formal meal the “drop” should be between 10 and 15 inches on all sides while an informal meal, it should be around 10 inches.

Table Runners: the most contemporary way to dress a table. Table runners are also versatile; most common way to use a table runner is to place it in the center of the table, layer them over a tablecloth, place them sideways to use as a shared placed setting or place matching table runners in an “X” shape across the table, which works well on circular tables.

Placemats: creates a stylish space for each place setting. Use rectangular placemats, square ones give a table a contemporary look, while round placemats break up an angular tablescape.

Napkins: they add a nice touch to a dining table. Consider them an important part of your table design.

Should one add a centerpiece and decorative items?

Centerpieces create a beauty to table settings. Remember to keep it low and narrow; tall centerpieces make it hard to see people across the table, and large ones can crowd your place settings. Decorative items will give the table a personal touch like no other. Go ahead and add; charges, napkins rings and even place setting name holders.

What is the proper etiquette for using a charger plate at a table setting?

When preparing the table for a dinner, occasion or event, one should place the charger plate where the entrée plate belongs in a proper table setting. There should be only one charger plate per place setting. Once it comes time to serve, soup bowls, salad plates or entrée dishes simply set upon the charger plate.

When is it appropriate to remove the charger plate off the table during a meal?

Deciding when to clear the table of all chargers plates depends on the type of venue. Some have chargers plates solely for decoration, and they are removed before guests are served. Traditionally, charger plates are used for presenting soups, salads or appetizers and are removed before the main entrée dish is served. However, many leave charger plates at the table setting throughout the entire meal. Rule of thumb is that a charger plate should always be removed from guests’ place settings before dessert is served.

Lastly, charger plates are not only great for use in their traditionally sense, placed beneath dining ware, but they also double as appetizer or dessert trays. Place appetizer or desserts on these trays before or after dinner. They’re great use with fresh fruit or cut fresh vegetables, charcuterie or cheese platters and more.

Candles or no candles?

Candles are almost a must at any seated dinner. It adds ambiance! But no matter how much we love our signature candles, they can clash with the aroma of the food. Choose unscented candles to accompany a meal.

Does one need to set out every piece of dinnerware, glassware and silverware?

No need to set out every piece! Crowding a table with all items, when not needed, quickly becomes a nuisance. Just set out the basics depending on the event. View charts below if going informal or formal.

Informal Setting

Formal Setting

What glassware can one use?

Choosing the right glassware can completely alter the enjoyment of any drink. Did you know that there are a multitude of glasses for each type of wine? Example: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, etc. Each glassware; the height of the stem or stemless and the thickness of the rim are all factors that enhance certain aromas of the wine.

Here are the most common glassware along with a decanter as a possible accessory when setting a table;


There are lists of glassware available; drinkware, tumblers, beer glassware, stemware that will suit everyone’s palette.

What is the proper etiquette for using a napkin?

One component that is constant throughout the dining experience is the use of the napkin. Use the napkin in an elegant deportment.

  • Napkin should be placed on your lap
  • When leaving momentarily, leave the napkin casually folded on the left
  • After the meal is ended, be sure to leave the napkin semi folded on the left
  • Do not use the napkin as a handkerchief
  • Never wear the napkin as a cravat

Does one know the proper utensils language?

Something worth knowing and that might come in handy.

Can one prepare certain things in advance?

Nobody likes spending the whole day setting up. On the day before the event, decorate, set the table and cook anything that’s possible to do ahead of time. One will be far more relaxed when it’s time to meet the guests.

Is one forgetting something?

With the table set, candles lit and meal ready; the last and final touch is music. Background music should flow well into one another. Allow the guests to calmly enjoy their meal and participate in conversation without having to raise their voices over it.


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