There are many different options when it comes to preparing a table, but the most important thing depends on the situation or occasion. This situation is for a formal dinner that you can have with friends or family. It’s a fairly simple setup that follows some basic guidelines that help you easily create an attractive table. There are many alternatives you can do to add or subtract table settings. But this configuration seen in the image is quite simple and is extremely simple to add. As I said before, the most important thing to prepare a formal table is the situation or the occasion. The choice of colors for tablecloth, napkin, centerpiece and dishes should be planned according to the type of dinner. If it’s for Thanksgiving, an obvious centerpiece would be something focused on the idea of Thanksgiving, the same goes for Christmas and then color patterns will follow. However, this Instructable is not about colors and decorations, but about how to set up a simple table for a formal event. This knowledge and creation will only help to create a beautiful and elegant table.
Step 1: Things Needed
The list of things needed again can vary on what type of dinner you will be having, but for this simple set up you will need the following:
-Teacup and Saucer
In another variation later in this Instructable you will also see the following added to this list:
For more formal dinners more things can be added such as:
-Wine Glass for White/Red Wine (There would then be two wine glasses)
-Potential for more Silverware depending on what is being served.
Step 2: Plates
The first step is to leave the dishes. They must be centered remotely in front of each chair and each plate must align with the one in front. Each plate must be positioned at a distance from the knuckles of the thumb from the edge of the table. This can be seen in the second image below. Place the thumb knuckle on the edge of the table, then place the plate at the end of the thumb. This should be done for all dinner dishes.
The second part of this step is to place the salad plate in the center of the plate, as shown in image three. This must be done in all place settings. It may seem strange to put one dish on top of the other, but this is done because the salad plate is served before the course of dinner; therefore, the salad plate will be used and finished before using the food plate. If the salad is to be served at the same time as the main dish, the table can still be set up this way and the guest can move the salad plate to a different place when he is ready to use his plate.
Step 3: Silverware
The next step is silverware, here we are using the four basic types of silverware needed for a formal dinner. If the dinner you intend to serve is more formal than that, simply add the types of silverware you will need for that occasion. Working from inside and outside helps keep everything online. To keep things equidistant, use your thumb and be sure to look at what looks good for the correct spacing. Therefore, starting from the forks that go to the left, the dinner fork will be placed first. Use your thumb to measure the length from the edge of the table as you did for the plate. This technique will be used for all cutlery to maintain a straight line. The next step is the table knife on the right side of the plate. Measure again with your thumb to determine the correct position from the edge of the table. Looking at the knife, you will see that each side of the blade looks different. One side is completely smooth, while the other side is notched or has small teeth. When setting up a formal table, make sure that the table knife is straight and you cannot see the serrated side.
The last two types of cutlery are the fork and the table spoon. The salad fork should be positioned to the left of the dinner fork, as shown in the fifth image below. Try to keep a good distance between the two forks, as there is between the fork and the plate, neither too much nor too little, but there is no specific quantity. Just make sure you can see the whole tool and that nobody is hidden under the plate.
The table spoon is then positioned to the right of the table knife, again observing the space between the two utensils and using the thumb to position it from the edge of the table.
Step 4: Napkins
As stated earlier, cloth napkins really help to make the dining table formal. There are many ways to fold a napkin. A basic one is shown in the image; only a simple rectangle positioned on the left side of the plates and on the outside of the cutlery (forks). Another way is to show “Things needed” in the step. Instead of folding in a rectangle, you can fold the cloth napkin into a triangle and place the napkin in the same place with the top point pointing to the left. Another way to fold a napkin is to purchase napkin rings and pass the napkin through the ring. If done in this way, the napkin can be placed in the same place or placed vertically on plates and salads. There are also many different colors of napkins that can be used depending on the color of the tablecloth and the dishes.
Step 5: Glasses
Glasses are the final things that are needed on the table. The glass of water should be placed first. The use of a stem is completely acceptable for soft drinks. A glass like the one you see can be used for water, punch, soda or anything else the guest likes. Usually water is served with a kind of wine during a formal dinner. This glass of water should be placed directly on the table knife. The second image in this step will show a clear corner of the table knife pointing towards the center of the glass of water.
The second necessary glass is wine, a glass of this type has a foot and a stem compared to the glass of water it doesn’t even have. If you are serving red and white wine, you can have two separate glasses, one for each wine. A glass of red wine generally has a wider and rounder bowl. A glass of white wine has a smaller bowl with a smaller rim than a glass of red wine. If only one type of wine is served with a round bowl, it is fine for anyone. This configuration uses a rounder bowl, because generally only one wine is served, except on more formal occasions. The glass of wine is placed to the left of the glass of water. You can see it in the third image below.
The third type of glass used in this configuration is the cup and saucer. Used if tea or coffee is served after dinner. The cup and saucer must be positioned to the right of the spoon directly from the center of the plate. There is no real way to measure this, just be sure to look at what seems to be going well. In the fourth and fifth images. The base of the cup will sit on an inner ring of the saucer. Make sure to position the cup the right way as soon as it appears in the pictures. Putting it upside down is wrong, it must be turned upside down so that you can easily pour coffee or tea.
This table setup completes after all goals are set. For more advanced or alternative table settings, you can see step 6.
Step 6: Alternatives
There are many different alternatives to prepare a formal table, and they all depend on what food will be served and how formal you want the occasion to be. In this case, I am showing two alternatives, but they are still very simple. They deal with variations in the types of food that can be served. In the first photo I added a plate of bread and a butter knife. This would be used at the table when serving bread, rolls or something during dinner.
The second alternative is to add the bowl and spoon. Obviously, this would be done when soup is served before or during dinner. The soup spoon is placed outside because it will be used first. When using cutlery at the table, a general rule is to work from the outside in; Therefore, the spoon is placed outside. Also, when serving soup, bread or rolls should be considered. If not bread, at least the crackers and guests could put some of the biscuits on the bread plate.
Of course, there are many other alternatives, but to keep things simple and “realistic” situations, this type of table configuration suits most occasions. If more alternatives are needed, you can always use the Internet or home-style magazines to get more options.