Having the table set properly when your guests arrive will make them feel that you've made an effort for them, and that you know what you are doing. Formal place settings add immensely to the look of a table and provide a backdrop to the meal. Let's assume that you're serving salad, then soup followed by a meat main dish, and finally dessert. You will also serve a roll with the salad. Read on to find out how to set the table.

  1. Place a dinner plate on the table for each setting.
  2. Place smaller plate for salad on top of the dinner plate.
  3. Place a large fork on the left of each plate. This is the fork for the main course.
  4. Place a knife on the right of each plate, making sure the blade is facing the plate.
  5. Place a smaller, salad fork to the left of each large fork.
  6. Place a soup spoon to the right of each knife.
  7. Place a small knife on the right of the soup spoon. This is for cutting and buttering the roll.
  8. Place the dessert cutlery on top of the plate. If you will be using a fork and spoon for dessert, place the fork with the handle on the left, and the spoon the opposite way. The fork is nearest to the plate, with the spoon above it.
  9. Place the small plate with the roll to the left of the forks, which are at the left of the plate.
  10. Place a glass to the right of the plate, near the point of the knife.
  11. Fold the napkins and place them either in the wine glasses, on the plates, or under the forks [sources: Home Ever After, Home Made Simple].