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Help! I Don't Know How to Set the Tables at My Wedding Reception!

Posted by LO on 9/17/2018 to Helpful Tips
tablecloth clips You've set the table at your home a hundred times, so how hard can it be to set the tables for your wedding reception? It can actually get a little complicated because wedding dinners require a lot more equipment than your typical dinner party does. Here is a basic guide for setting the tables at your reception.

Table Linens

The table linens are pretty easy to set. The tablecloth goes over the whole table. Especially for outdoor weddings, you can use tablecloth clips to hold your tablecloths in place. Then during the actual table setting steps, the napkins will be placed to your liking (folded, rolled, on top of the dinner plate, next to the dinner plate, etc.) so the guests can easily see them and use them as they wish.


The list is kind of long with this one, and you're going to need it all. You need a salad fork, dinner fork, dessert fork, salad knife, dinner knife, bread knife, soup spoon, and a dessert spoon. The easiest way to place them is so that the guests can work from the outside to the inside on either side of the plates in the order their courses come.


This list is a little less extensive. You will need a dinner plate, salad plate, and a bread plate. The dinner plate should go in the center, and the salad plate will sit on top of the dinner plate. The bread plate will sit above the dinner plate and to the left, on the opposite side of the glasses.


Speaking of glasses, those are next on the checklist. You're going to need a water glass, a wine glass, and a champagne glass for each guest. They all will go above the plate on the right-hand side. The water glass will sit closest and farthest to the right. The wine glass will sit above the water glass slightly to the left, and the champagne class will sit the farthest away from the plate sort of in between the other glasses.

More of a visual learner? Here's a handy layout to guide you in setting a formal dinner table (omit any items that you will not be using or that do not apply):

Formal Dinner Place Setting Table Layout

1. Salad Fork
2. Fish Fork
3. Dinner Fork
4. Butter Knife
5. Dessert Fork
6. Dessert Spoon
7. Salad Knife
8. Meat Knife
9. Fish Knife
10. Soup Spoon
11. Tea Spoon
12. Seafood Fork

13. Salad Plate
14. Soup Bowl
15. Service Plate
16. Bread Plate

17. Water Goblet
18. Champagne Flute
19. Red Wine Glass
20. White Wine Glass
21. Sherry Glass

22. Place Card
23. Napkin

Roughly 63% of brides say that they feel a lot of pressure to have the perfect wedding, according to WeddingWire’s 2017 Newlywed Report. Knowing that, it's no surprise that details like the table setting will stress you out! When you're setting the tables for your reception, don't forget all the glasses, silverware, dishware, table linens, and especially the tablecloth clips. If something is a little off, don't worry. Your guests won't even notice because they will be too busy celebrating your big day!

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