Entertaining Tips & Setting a Proper Table

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tivoli Audio for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

With Christmas just weeks away, entertaining season officially here!  I have a few tips for making your event a little more special.

My mom and mother-in-law both set beautiful tables, and it makes the guests (including me!) feel so loved and appreciated.

Entertaining Tips & Setting a Proper Table   Setting a beautiful table also serves those of us who aren’t great in the kitchen.  A pretty setting can distract from not-so-great food.  (Which can really benefit someone like me!)


There is a proper way to set a table, and there are two general settings: casual and formal.  The casual setting is definitely more popular, and it’s a great thing to learn because you build off the casual setting and extend it for the formal setting.


Casual Place Setting

Plate  – Place the dinner plate directly in front of the seat – a couple inches from the edge of the table.

Napkin – Most of the time, the napkin is placed to the left of the plate.  The napkin can be under the fork or to the left of the fork.  Also, you will sometimes see the napkin on the plate.

Flatware – The fork always goes to the left of the place.  Place the knife to the right of the plate.  The cutting edge should be facing the plate with the knife pointing away from the diner.  A little reminder for which side the knife goes on, think about how a right handed person would cut their food.  They would use the fork in their left hand, and the knife in their right.  Place the spoon to the right of the knife.

Glass – The water glass goes on the upper right, and the tip of the knife should be pointing to the glass.

You can get as fancy as you want and add a lot more plates, glasses, and flatware.  This is often used in meals where more than one course is served.  Use the casual setting as a base and go bigger and better for the formal setting!


Formal Place Setting

Plates –  The plates still go in the middle, but you stack them with the smallest on top.  (If you have soup bowl, stack this on the plates.)  By stacking the plates, each plate can be cleared upon completion of the course, and a clean new place will be below.  The bread plate goes above the forks.  Place a small knife horizontally across the plate with the blade facing the left.

Napkins – As in the casual setting, the napkin can be under the forks, next to the forks or on the plate.

Flatware –  As before, the forks alway go to the left of the plate.  Place the dinner fork very close to the plate without touching the plate.  The salad fork goes just to the left of the dinner fork.  You eat from the outside in, so you will eat your salad first which is why the salad fork is on the outside.  You will work your way to the plate towards the end of the meal.  Place the teaspoon to the right of the knife.  Traditionally the teaspoon is used for stirring coffee or tea and the end of a meal.  Place the soup spoon next to the teaspoon and the fruit spoon can go to the left of the soup spoon.  The soup spoon will be larger than the teaspoon in more formal settings.  If you have a dessert fork & spoon.  a small fork and spoon will be placed just above the small plate (1/2 inch) horizontally.  The fork will face right and the spoon will face left. (If guests were to pull the the handles of the dessert fork and spoon towards them, the fork would be on the left and the spoon on the right.)

Glasses – If you’re serving wine, the wine glass goes to the right of the water glass.  If you want to set multiple wine glasses (you’re serving red and white wine),  then the white wine glass will be closer to the guest with the red wine glass slightly above and to the left of the white wine glass.  Guests should move from white to red wine.

If you’re like me and need visuals, I’ve created a printable for you.


Click here to open a PDF of the printable –> Proper Table Setting

Entertaining Ideas and Tips

Besides setting a beautiful table, music adds ambiance and is the final touch to a perfect evening of entertaining.

Tivoli Audio with Bluetooth

I recently began using Tivoli Audio’s Model One Bluetooth radio (also available without Bluetooth), and I can honestly say that I am IN LOVE.  Not only is the sound amazing, but I love the way it looks.  I have struggled for years with Bluetooth radios/speakers because they are so ugly and don’t fit with my decor.  The Tivoli Model One has a beautiful wood veneer cabinet which is available in multiple colors and finishes to match any decor!

Entertaining with Tivoli

You can utilize the classic AM/FM tuner to listen to your favorite stations, or you can customize your soundtrack and listen to your own music, by switching to auxiliary mode and using the Bluetooth Technology to listen wirelessly.  I’ve been listening to the Christmas playlist on my phone over and over…

Entertaining Tips

The Model One Radio is simple to use and there is no complicated set up which makes it so easy to move.

Tivoli Audio Model One

When we’re not entertaining in our formal dining room, we keep our Tivoli Audio Model One Radio on our bar cart in-between our kitchen and living room.

Tivolia Audio for the home

Tivoli Audio

The Tivoli Audio would make a great Christmas gift for the design or music enthusiast in your life!  Go to TivoliAudio.com to order online or find local dealers.

As you plan to entertain this holiday season, don’t forgot to set a pretty table and add music.  Throw in some delicious food, and you’ll have the perfect event!


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