Setting a Formal Table a la Emily Post

Nov 10th, 2017 | By | Category: blog

Etiquette is about more than setting a formal table.

That being said, as we are on the threshold of the holiday season, and many of us will find ourselves hosting formal dinners for family and friends over the next couple of months, we thought you might like to see how it’s done.

Below is a diagram from the Emily Post Institute to help guide your way. Your actual place setting may vary based on what you are serving or whether you have the various utensils and stemware on hand.

Just as with etiquette, the diagram is simply a guideline. Whatever you do have fun, and make it your own.

Formal Place Setting, Emily Post Institute

Formal Place Setting, Emily Post Institute


a.Service Plate
b.Butter Plate
c. Dinner Fork
d. Fish Fork
e. Salad Fork
f. Dinner Knife
g. Fish Knife
h.Salad Knife*
i.Soup Spoon or Fruit Spoon
j. Oyster Fork
k. Butter Knife
l. Glasses
m. Napkin

*Note from There is no salad knife in the illustration. If used, according to the above menu, it would be placed to the left of the dinner knife, next to the dinner plate. If the salad is to be served first, and fish second, then the knives would be arranged (left to right): dinner knife, fish knife, salad knife.

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