I recently had the pleasure of attending (and designing for!) a Tablescapes fundraiser event here in Dallas where I live. The experience was quite jaw-dropping - - it was amazing to see the different establishments decorate their tables so glamorously! I started thinking about table-setting in general...if you are anything like me, you were raised knowing how to set a proper table but it is good to have a little refresher every now and then.
When it comes to entertaining, delicious food and a lovely beverage are essential to being a gracious host, as is a beautifully set table. Knowing what utensils go where is not complicated, and I’m including a diagram in this post for reference. (Diagram from marthastewart.com) *Please note that this diagram assumes there is a soup course, and that fish is being served.
An easy way to remember which utensil to use first is what my mother taught me growing up… "start from the outside, and work your way in.” So, when setting the table, keep this in mind for the courses you plan to serve. One of the things I would like to note about this diagram is where the salad fork is placed. I learned to place the salad fork to the left of the dinner fork, whereas in this graphic the salad fork is to the right of the dinner fork. During a very formal dinner, the salad is served after the main course. If this is the case for your meal, your salad fork will be placed to the right of the dinner fork. If you will be serving the salad before the main course, then you’ll place it to the left.
Something else to note about this diagram are the fish utensils. If you are not serving fish, you need not place a fish fork nor fish knife.
After you have the table set, it’s time to place the flowers! Oftentimes it might be easier to place your flowers before the china and flatware - this is simply personal preference.
If your event is during the daytime, you might like to have floral arrangements that are a bit softer and free-flowing...nothing too “high drama”. If you are hosting a more ‘formal’ evening fete, bring the drama when it comes to the florals!
I hope you have found this post helpful when it comes to setting your table! What questions can we answer for you?
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