You’ve pulled out grandma’s china, polished the silver and shined the crystal, all in preparation for the perfect Thanksgiving feast. Now it’s time to set the table! Do you know precisely where all of these lovely pieces go on each place setting? Here is a simple guide to reference and jog your memory. After all, like your heirloom china, silver and crystal, proper table etiquette never goes out of style.


Linens should be crisply pressed and luxurious in texture. The napkin should be nicely folded and placed on top of the base plate, or charger. For ideas and instructions on napkin folds, visit The Napkin Folding Guide here.

The Charger is the large under plate that the first course is served on top of. When it comes time for the main course, the entree plate is exchanged out with the charger. The charger will remain set for all courses preceding the main.

Forks are on the left side of the plate. As shown in the image above, the order for forks from left to right are: Fish, Entree, Salad. If the salad is preceding the entree and there is no fish course, the salad fork would stand to the left of the dinner fork, which would be closest to the plate.

Knives and Spoons go to the right of the plate. As shown in the image above, the order for knives are: Dinner knife, Fish knife. The soup spoon goes to the right of the knives and the oyster fork goes last. No more than 3 of any utensil is ever placed on the table at the same time, with the exception of oyster forks. Knife blades are always turned toward the charger plate.

Butter Plate goes above the forks on the left side of the plate.

Glassware is placed above the knives. The water goblet is first and is placed above the knives. To the right is a champagne flute. Below the flute come your wine glasses. No more than 5 glasses should be placed on the table at the same time.

Dessert Spoons and Forks are brought in on the dessert plate when the course is served.

Place Cards should be used to direct guests to their chair. This is where you can get creative and pull in some beautiful details to your table.

An Informal Place Setting is a scaled down version of the image above. The salad plate and coffee cup are placed on the table. The salad plate goes to the left of the forks and the coffee cup and saucer go to the right of the drinking glass, above the spoon.

There is nothing better than gathering around the table with those dearest to your heart to give thanks for all of your blessings. Many of you will play host to family and friends in celebrating of Thanksgiving on Thursday. Your dining table will serve as a focal point for the day and will be the center for all the action. Ensuring your table is properly set and adorned with beautiful details will leave a lasting impression on your guests and help create beautiful memories. So pull out the fine china and polish the silver and crystal because this is one holiday that deserves the very best in the house! Happy Thanksgiving y’all!


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