Whether you’re hosting a laid-back Friendsgiving or a formal holiday meal, let Personal Express Insurance help you be the host with the most with this proper place setting guide.
A simple and classic table setting is ideal for a small, informal meal with friends or family.
- Place a dinner plate in front of each seat.
- Put a folded napkin and dinner fork to the left of the plate.
- Position a knife (with the blade facing inward) and spoon on the right side of the plate.
- Place a water glass at the tip of the knife.
The Elevated Basic
For larger gatherings or meals where you plan on serving more than one course, an elevated yet casual place setting is a great option.
- Place a dinner plate in front of every seat, then a salad plate and/or soup bowl on top.
- Put a folded napkin with a salad fork and dinner fork on the left side of the plate.
- On the right side of the plate, place the knife and spoon.
- Position the water glass and wine glass above the knife and spoon.
The Formal Affair
Maybe you’re hosting a formal meal, or you just want to kick the presentation up a notch. If that’s the case, a formal place setting is sure to impress your guests.
- Start with a tablecloth and centerpiece, the foundation of a formal table setting.
- Lay down a charger plate, which sits under the salad plate or soup bowl until the main course plate is served.
- Place the napkin on top of the charger plate or to the left of the forks. If space is limited, put the napkin under the forks.
- Position the salad fork as the outermost fork, then a dinner fork.
- Place the dinner knife to the right of the plate, followed by the spoon and a seafood fork, if seafood is being served.
- Above the forks, place a bread and butter plate with a butter knife on top.
- Put the water glass about an inch above the knife, followed by the wine glass and the champagne flute.
- Above the plate, place the dessert spoon and fork horizontally, with the fork handle facing the left and the spoon handle facing the right.
Thanksgiving Place Setting Tips
- Line up utensils with the rim of the plate—usually 1 inch from the edge of the table.
- Try to keep place settings at least 12-15 inches apart to allow for plenty of elbow room.
- Clear the table of all dishes, salt and pepper shakers, and condiment dishes before serving dessert.
Thanksgiving Etiquette Tips for Guests
So, you lucked out this year and scored an invite to a Thanksgiving feast. That doesn’t mean you’re exempt from following some basic etiquette rules:
- RSVP immediately. Hosting guests requires considerable preparation. Do your host a favor by responding to your invite as soon as you know you’re able or unable to attend.
- Disclose eating restrictions ASAP. Give your host a heads up if you or anyone in your party has eating restrictions and follows a special diet.
- Arrive right on time. Show up early, and you’ll interfere with your host’s last-minute prep. Show up late, and you’ll miss the main event! Try to get there on time.
- Help with cleanup. After dinner, offer to help your host clean up. It’s just the right thing to do, even if they don’t take you up on the offer.
- Don’t show up empty-handed. Once you RSVP, ask your host what you can contribute. Whether it’s a few nice bottles of wine to be enjoyed with dinner, a fancy carving set, or a candle, bring something thoughtful and practical.
It’s important to be prepared for whatever life may throw at you, especially during the holidays. Keep the people and things around your Thanksgiving table protected by calling 1-800-499-3612 or meeting with a Homegrown Pro in your neighborhood.