Learning how to set a table for various events and occasions is something everyone should know how to do. While knowing where to put which utensil can seem a bit confusing at first, setting a table correctly is very easy. There are different settings depending on the occasion, including basic, informal, and formal. We've broken down how to set a table for any occasion, and with these tips, you'll have it mastered in no time.

Basic Table Setting

A basic table setting will be your go-to for more occasions, from family dinners to a quick sit-down meal. It's also the foundation you'll use to create place settings for other occasions. Place the plate in the middle of the placemat. Put the fork to the left of the plate and the knife to the immediate right of the plate. Place the spoon next to the knife. For the water glass, position it directly above the knife. What about the napkin? Pop it on the plate, and there you have it! A perfect basic table setting.

Informal Table Setting

Start by arranging a basic table setting. Do you plan on serving salad? Put the salad fork to the left of the fork. If you're serving soup instead of salad, put the soup spoon to the right of the spoon. Put the soup bowl directly on the plate. For bread plates, you'll want to arrange them above the fork, with a butter knife laying across the bread plate. If you'll be pouring wine, place the wine glass just left of the water glass. Use a casual table setting for luncheons or an informal dinner.

How to Set Formal Table

A formal table setting is ideal for special occasions or hosting a guest of honor at your table. For formal table settings, first, place a charger plate beneath the dinner plate, then place the settings as you would for an informal dinner. Place the dessert spoon to the right of the soup spoon, and the salad fork next to the dinner fork. To turn an informal setting into a formal setting, place a coffee cup and saucer just above the spoons, with the handle pointing to the right. Wine glasses should be set above the water glass, with the white wine glass on the inside, and the red on the outside.

Tips for a Special Sit-Down Dinner

If you want to add an extra touch of sophistication to special occasions like holidays, anniversaries, and other celebrations there are a few simple tricks you can use to elevate your dinner to the extraordinary. This is the opportunity to bring out your best plates, fine china, and fancy crystal stemware. Buy some fresh flowers (or gather up a bouquet from your garden), and place them in the center of the table. For special occasion sit-down dinners, opt for a smaller guest list and set out place cards so everyone knows where to sit. It's more intimate and it allows you to add more of a personalized touch to the evening.