After you put all the work into designing your Thanksgiving table, you definitely don’t want to ruin it with an improperly placed salad fork … the horror! Whether you’re setting the table for a basic, informal or formal dinner, here’s the proper way to place all your utensils, plates and glasses.
Thanksgiving Table Setting Rules
Break out the ruler! The most important rule for a formal table is that everything needs to be geometrically spaced. The centerpiece should be at the exact center of the table and the place settings should be equal distances from the centerpiece and from each other. The utensils should be balanced, as well: equal space between them and the bottoms of the handles aligned with the bottom edge of the plate.
Use only what you need. When placing your utensils and wine glasses, include only what you need. Don’t place a fish fork in a formal setting if you aren’t serving a fish course.
Work from the outside in. Place utensils in the order they will be used. In a formal place setting with a fish fork, salad fork and main fork, you should place the forks in the order they will be used, even if that means the main dish is served before the salad course.
Look sharp! Knife blades are always placed with the cutting edge toward the plate.
Keep count. No more than three of any implement should ever be placed on the table, except when an oyster fork is being used. If there are more utensils needed, those utensils should be brought out with the course.