Whether you choose to serve your guests in formal, informal, or buffet style, the comfort of your guests is top priority. To avoid overcrowding, allow 24" to 30" for each setting. Place settings should be 1" from the edge of the table, and avoid centerpiece arrangements that obstruct the view of guests.
Do not place items such as coffee cups, tea cups, and/or dessert plates on the table if it crowds your guests. It is appropriate to bring those items to the table after the main course has been cleared and dessert is served.
If a shortage of place settings is a problem, mix in pieces that do not match. Mix and match place setting has become a popular trend.
When deciding on a table centerpiece, keep it low. Large, tall centerpieces obstruct the view of your guests.
Choose an atmosphere that is appropriate for your gathering, an atmosphere that compliments your meal and encourages conversation.
Lay cutlery in order used, from outside to inside.
Save space by placing the dessert spoon and fork at top of table setting. If table seems too crowded, bring when serving dessert.
Glasses are at the top right corner, wine glass placed above tip of knife.
Three goblets are set at a formal dining arrangement: a water goblet (left), white wine goblet (top right) and red wine goblet (above tip of knife).
Napkins can be placed on dinner plate or to the left of forks.