The modern world has moved on so fast that some of the old skills and forms of etiquette naturally fell by the wayside. This article will act as a guide for the established Australian table-setting rules and how to adapt them for basic, casual settings or more formal ones. The team here at Swan Event Hire have a wealth of ideas and experience and can offer excellent advice, tableware, and crockery hire in Perth as required.

Understanding the Fundamentals of Basic Table Setting

Basic table-setting rules are appropriate for any less formal occasion, from a casual dinner party to an impromptu breakfast, with less focus on formality. Still, certain levels of practicality and etiquette remain in play. You will need:

  • Placemats 
  • Cutlery — knife, fork, and spoon 
  • Dinner plates
  • Glassware
  • Napkins

How to set a table: Basic table setting

  1. Position the placemats.
  2. Put the plates in the middle of the placemats.
  3. Place the napkins to the left of the plates.
  4. Lay the fork on top of the napkin.
  5. Put the knife to the right of the plate with the sharp edge nearest it.
  6. Place the spoon directly to the right of the knife.
  7. Position the glass above the plate, roughly at one on a clock face.

Tip — The arrangement of the utensils and the plate should be such that their bottom edges are all level.

A proper table setup

For more formal events like an elegant dinner party, it might be necessary to equip your guests with the utensils for a three-course meal. One of the most significant differences between a casual table setup and a formal place setting is using chargers or presentation plates, and a formal table setup will forego placemats. You will need:

  • Tablecloth 
  • Chargers 
  • Plates (dinner, salad, bread)
  • Soup bowls
  • Napkins
  • Glassware — (water, red wine, white wine)
  • Napkins
  • Cutlery — forks (salad, dinner), knives (butter, dinner), spoons (soup, dessert)

Tip — Consider opting for cutlery hire in Perth if you struggle to find all the requisite items. 

How to set a table: Formal table setting

  1. Lay the tablecloth.
  2. Place a charger before each guest with a soup bowl in the centre.
  3. Put the bread plate to the top left of the charger, roughly ten on a clock face.
  4. Position a napkin to the left of the charger.
  5. On the left, place the salad fork furthest and the dinner fork closest to the charger.
  6. On the right, place the knife closest to the charger as per the basic table setting rules, then place the soup spoon beside it. 
  7. Put the butter knife on the bread plate horizontally, with the sharp edge facing downwards and the handle to the right.
  8. Place the dessert spoon above the charger with the handle pointing to the right.
  9. Above the knife, place the glasses for water, white wine, and red wine in a soft v shape with the water glass to the left.
  10. Set a place card above the dessert spoon.

As daunting as it may seem, fear not because Swan Event Hire can help with many aspects of your formal occasion, from advice and guidance on making your event go smoothly to glassware hire in Perth. Contact us today, and we can discuss your upcoming event.

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