Setting a lovely
table is the
prelude to a great
Don’t forget to
register for all of
Here’s how to set a lovely table
There’s a proper (and practical) way to set
a formal table. Start by placing basic plates
on top of each other and in the order they
will be used, such as soup or salad on top,
dinner plate in the middle and service plate
or charger at the bottom. (A service plate is
Similarly, the flatware is placed in the order it
is used, starting at the outside and working in.
So, the salad fork is on the extreme left of the
place setting, followed by the dinner fork.
Knives are on the right of the place setting,
with the dinner knife to the right, unless there
is a fish appetizer that needs a knife, in which
case the fish knife would be to the right of the
If you are serving soup, the soup spoon
would be at the extreme right of the place
setting, with the teaspoon next.
Often, hosts place a dessert spoon and fork
above the place setting or deliver them later,
along with the dessert.
A napkin may be placed in the middle of the
dinner plate or to the left of the forks.
Glassware sits at the tip of the knife on
the right-hand side. The water glass is the
closest to the knife, as it remains on the
table throughout the entire meal. Additional
glasses, such as wine glasses, stand to the
right of the water glass.
Making registry decisions
Choose your china with your groom so you
can agree on pattern and style. (You’ll be
living with your choice for a long time!)
Consider mixing and matching. That is,
have a dinner plate with a wide, solid border,
but have dessert plates in a coordinating,
lively pattern. This delivers an especially
attractive place setting.
There are other considerations. Do you
want your china to be dishwasher-safe?
Do you want the elegance of a metal border
(gold or platinum)?
Do you llike pattern or do you prefer solid
colour or, perhaps, no colour at all?
Register for all your needs: china (including
cups and saucers), crystal, cutlery,
tablecloths, placemats, serving bowls, vases,
salt and pepper shaker, tea and coffee pots
and you’re ready to party!
Photography: Mike Day/Art of Weddings, theartofweddings.com.
Location/Styling: Shot of William Ashley with stylist Heather Lynn Berry, williamashley.com.
Flowers: Fresh floral creations, freshflorals.com.
All china: Annatolia White
and Gold/Blue and Gold by
Narumi. Gold service plate
by Vista Alegre.
Elegance – Waterford.
Silverware: Saint Bonnet –
Giftware by Nachtmann.
Our thanks to William
Ashley who provided the
setting in their Bloor Street,
Originally published in Today’s Bride magazine, Spring/Summer 2013.