Prom and wedding season is upon us which means you may encounter a formal place setting in the near future. Even if these events aren't coming up for you right now - this is still a great little post to keep on hand.
I've noticed that many people my age are terrified of formal dinner settings. Perhaps it's the abundance of plates, cups and silverware or the fear of making a mistake. In reality - it's quite simple to navigate your place setting, especially after a bit of practice! While some people may feel that dinner table table etiquette to this extent is antiquated - I think it's a timeless skill to possess!
1. Bread plate and butter knife. Don't make it a habit to cut your bread with the butter knife. Instead use your hands to break it into small pieces and butter it with the knife.
2. Dessert Spoon. This is used only for dessert.
3. Dessert fork. Same idea as the spoon.
4. Red wine
5. White wine
7. Soup spoon
8. Dinner knife
9. Charger plate (bottom)
10. Dinner plate (middle)
11. Salad plate (top)
12. Dinner fork
13. Salad fork
Now, the general rule of thumb for silverware is to work from the outside in. So if you're lost - start there. Another point of confusion may be what drink ware and which bread plate belong to you. A neat little trick is to make the letters b and d with your hands. As you will see 'b' is made with your left hand - therefore your bread plate is on your left. Likewise, d is made with the right hand, which means your drink ware is on your right (how easy?!).
This really is just the tip of the iceberg but, I hope it helps you feel more confident at your next formal event!