Guide + Inspiration – How to Set The Table
With the holiday’s approaching setting the table does not have to be intimidating. Party Reflections, Inc. has over 60 years of incorporating rentals for setting the perfect table. Faced with the ever-evolving trends of tablescapes and place settings, we feel like it is still important to abide by traditional etiquette. Whether you are hosting a casual dinner party or planning an extravagant formal event, setting the table properly can be an overwhelming task. Questions will circle. What fork goes with which course? What is that extra glass used for? It really depends on what is being served during the meal. Do you need to use the entire place setting to have a multi-coursed meal? The answer is yes, and no to answer any common questions. Below you will find options for setting your table to create the perfect tablescape. What seems to be trending in the event world is the minimalism of a place setting. Heavy tapas, innovative buffets and diverse food trucks are taking place at more and more events to create a scaled back place setting. This takes us to what we call, Basic Minimal. What’s needed in this setting is a napkin (usually to the left of the plate), dinner fork (on top of the napkin), dinner knife (to the right of the plate), dinner plate (between the dinner fork and the dinner knife) and water glass (placed above the dinner knife). This is what you most likely grew up knowing just sitting at your dinner table. To make this basic setting stand out you can always add extras like a charger, table linen or even a salad plate, if the meal requires plating extras.
Photography: Mina von Feilitzsch Planner: Jennifer V. Events Products: Bella Vita Tara Plate, Rattan Charger, Tyson Wood Flatware, Rose Gold Satin Linen
The most common and popular that is seen on a table setting is Casual Semi-Formal. This setting gives the opportunity to have a first course and a choice of drink. Casual Semi-formal consists of a napkin (desired area), salad fork (outermost fork, left of plate), dinner fork (innermost fork, left of plate), dinner knife (directly right of the plate), dinner spoon ( placed on the right of the dinner knife) dinner plate (between the dinner fork and the dinner knife), water glass (placed above the dinner knife), lastly, wine glass (placed to the right of the water glass). This setting is great to add any extras like another wine glass, iced tea or even coffee/tea saucer to give it your desired look.
Photography: Katherine Miles Jones Planner: Eclectic Sage Products: Arden Rose Gold Flatware, Fern Bengaline Napkin, Champagne Velvet Linen, Hudson Charcoal Plate, Hudson Grey Plate, Viva Plate, Olive Water Glass
If your event calls for more of a formal affair, it’s always a good idea to check out Emily Post on table setting etiquette, required for your menu choice. Once the menu is in place it will be easier to set up your table as according. Flatware is aligned on the table placement in the order you will be using it throughout the planned meal. From the outside in. (Note: soup spoons, fish forks and knives should only be present if those courses will be served). See below to the 3 formal guides suited for a formal menu choice.
Photography: Ally and Bobby Planner: Rebecca Rose Events Products: Robin Blue Fleur De Lis Charger, Gracia Plates, White Coupe Plate, Hampton Gold Flatware, Tid Bit Flatware, Milano Wine Glass
Formal 1:There is opportunity to have a hand served appetizer or soup. If not, you can simply omit the dinner spoon.
Formal 2:Adding to the setting is a fish fork, fish knife and soup bowl. Again, adding or omitting items as needed with menu pairing.
Formal 3: Adding a seafood fork, demitasse spoon, teaspoon, champagne flute, cordial/sherry glass and a demitasse saucer. Usually, a dessert drinking glass will be brought out after the meal if it’s called for.
Depending on your style or type of affair there will be more than enough room to showcase a dinner with creativity. Mixing and matching accent pieces to compliment each other can go a long way. Switching to colored glassware, nontraditional napkin placement and table linens that add a pop of color and texture can easily enhance your guest’s dinner experience. Setting the table, no matter the event is solely based on the table setting basics while adding or omitting the pieces you need for the menu choice. While relying on a planned menu, get creative to customize the perfect table setting for your guests.