How to Set Basic, Casual, Formal Table: Easy Step-by-Step Instruction

Feeling stressed about setting the table for different occasions?

Don't worry, setting a table isn't as difficult as you might think! Once you get the hang of it, trust me, you cannot stop yourself styling the table even if it's just for everyday dining!


Now, here are my easy step-by-step instructions on how to set the table for any occasion, from casual get-togethers to fancy dinner parties.


Basic Table Setting 

Basic Table Setting

What you need:


Cutlery (Fork, Knife, Spoon)

Beverage Glass 



How to set a basic table:

    1. Place a table runner or placemat on the table. (Optional)
    2. Put the dinner plate and center it directly in front of the chair.
    3. Place the napkin on the left side of the plate.
    4. Place the fork on top of the napkin.
    5. Put the knife and spoon to the right of the plate.
      • The knife should be the one closest to the plate with the edge/blade facing the plate.
      • Place the spoon to the right of the knife.

Note: Make sure your dinner plate and utensils are aligned or at the same level, and spaced evenly (about half an inch away from each other.)

                 6. Place the beverage glass at the upper right corner of the plate (above the knife and in between the plate and the knife).


Best for: Weekend breakfast, everyday dining 


Informal/Casual Table Setting

Casual Table Setting

What you need:

Add salad plate, salad fork, soup bowl, soup spoon, and wine glass to Basic Table Setting


How to set an informal table:

  1. Start with the basic table setting
  2. Place the salad fork to the left of the dinner fork.
  3. Put the soup spoon to the right of the dinner spoon.
  4. The salad plate goes on top of the dinner plate, and the soup bowl on top of the salad plate.
  5. Put the wine glass to the right of the beverage or water glass.


Best for: Dinner parties like get-togethers, simple birthday celebrations, housewarming parties, etc.


Formal Table Setting 

Formal Table Setting

What you need:

Add charger, bread plate, butter knife, dessert spoon or cake fork, wine glass to Informal Table Setting


  1. Start with the informal table setting. 
  2. You can set a plate charger at each set. This will be for decoration only ⏤ to create a more elevated look. (Optional)
  3. Place the bread plate above the fork. Put the butter/bread knife across it with the blade facing inwards and the handle pointing to the right.
  4. Put the dessert spoon or cake fork horizontally above the dinner plate (in between the glasses and bread plate) with the handle pointing to the right.
  5. Now that you have two wine glasses (for white wine and red wine), place the white wine glass to the right of the red wine glass. The red wine glass should be slightly above the white wine glass.
  6. Put the place card above the dessert utensils. (Optional

Best for: Elegant dinner parties (usually with a three-course meal)



And that's it! Simple, right? Now you just have to add decorations like floral centerpieces, greeneries, and other pieces and touches you want to add to amp it up.


Have fun decorating! 

Basic Table Setting Guide



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