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How to Set a Table for a Formal Dinner

There are multiple holidays and occasions that require a formal dinner setting. If you’re hosting a formal dinner, make sure you know how to set a table accordingly. A formal setting takes your meal to the next level. Your friends and family will definitely be impressed with your newfound host skills. The best part is once you only learn the table etiquette, you will be an expert host for life. Our Columbus movers put together this guide on how to set a table for a formal dinner.


Gather Your Supplies

A formal dinner setting requires six pieces of flatware, three glasses, two plates, and a napkin. Yes, there will be a lot of dishes, but the dining experience is worth it. For utensils, you need a bread knife, dinner fork, salad fork, dessert fork, dinner knife, and soup spoon. Note that the dessert utensil can either be a fork or spoon, depending on your dessert choice. For plates, you need a large plate and a bread plate. For drinking glasses, you need a glass for water, red wine, and white wine. Finally, you will have a napkin and a napkin ring.


How to Set a Table

There is a specific method to setting the dinner table. You can master the art of table setting in two parts. First, the placement of the plates and glasses. In the formal dining world, people use the acronym BMW to remember where each item should be placed. BMW stands for bread, meal, water. As you say BMW, it reads left to right, just like your place setting should. Your bread plate is at the top left, meal is in the middle, and glasses are in the top right.

Second, the placement of the flatware. The dessert utensil is located above the large plate. The bread knife is laid on the bread plate. Forks are placed on the left side of the plate. You can easily remember this because fork and left are both four letter words. The dinner knife and soup spoon go on the right. Be sure to put the largest utensil closest to the large plate. For example, the dinner knife is closest to the plate and the soup spoon is on the outside because it is smaller.


Bonus Tip

If you want to take the dinner to the next level, our Westerville movers recommend adding a place card in front of each table setting. Every formal dinner party includes assigned seating. You can get creative and personalize these cards for your guest. Place cards are especially nice to have for a themed dinner party.


If you are moving and need help with your dining supplies, contact our Powell movers to safely transport your belongings. With over two decades of experience, our professionals are committed to delivering excellent customer care and quality moves. If you need your items packed and loaded, we have you covered. For more information, call our Columbus residential movers.