A Beginner's Guide to Table Settings For Weddings

A Beginner's Guide to Table Settings For Weddings

If you’ve forgotten your etiquette lessons, we’ve got you covered

The place settings at your wedding can really set the tone for what your guests can expect at your reception. If you have plastic cutlery, for example, they know you’re planning a pretty lax night. (Either that or they’ve found the kids table.) On the other hand, a table set for a queen means a completely different night is ahead of them.

Now we all know the basic rules: knives on the right and forks on the left, line the cutlery up an inch from the table edge, make sure the knives face into the plate etc. etc. But, if you’re not sure what style of table setting you should choose for your wedding, don’t fret! We’ve put together a basic guide to help you out.



Formal settings are perfect for your classic, lah-de-dah wedding. Think ballrooms and 4-course meals. A formal setting has the most elements of any type and it can really dazzle your guests. The setting should be fairly symmetrical so any little error will look out of place. This includes the décor as well.

Make sure your waiters and waitresses are well-versed in the goings on of the formal table setting because it can be a bit overwhelming. In particular, they should know how to serve using the charger and when to remove a glass from the setting.

It’s also a good idea to make sure that your guests will actually have a use for all their dinnerware. There is no point having a soup spoon if you’re only going to serve dinner and dessert. Your table will need quite a bit of space to fit in every element, including salt and pepper, 3 glasses, and a bread plate for each setting. Remember, you don't need to be having a fairytale-style wedding to have a formal table setting. Check out these more modern settings: