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How to Set a Formal Dinner Table

Step 2: Plates

The first step is to set down the dinner plates. They should be remotely centered in front of each chair, and each dinner plate should line up with the one across from it. Each dinner plate should be place a thumb knuckles' length from the edge of the table. This can be seen in the second picture below. Place your thumb knuckle on the edge of the table and then place the dinner plate at the end of your thumb. This should be done for all dinner plates.
The second part to this step is to place the salad plate inside the middle of the dinner plate, as seen in picture three. This should be done at all place settings. It might seem strange to put one plate on top of the other, but this is done because the salad course is served before the dinner course; therefore, the salad plate will be used and finished with before the dinner plate is used. If the salad is going to be served at the same time as the main course the table can still be set this way and the guest can move the salad plate to a different location when they are ready to use their dinner plate.
 
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