Galleries › Place Settings

Learn how to set the table for informal or formal events.

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Formal Place Setting

For a formal place setting, the table typically is set with flatware and glasses for all the courses. Each course is brought out on its own plate and set on the charger or service plate. Arrange silverware so it can be used from the outside in toward the plate.

Consider what will be served when planning place settings. Your menu will dictate what is included (don't set the table with utensils or glasses that won't be used) and the order in which it is arranged.

Informal Place Setting

This basic place setting can be supplemented with a bread plate, coffee cup and saucer, and additional stemware, depending on what you serve.

An informal place setting works well for a buffet meal. The dinner plate can be either set at each seating place or stacked on the buffet table. Setting the flatware and napkin on the table frees up guests' hands as they pass through the buffet line.