October 5, 2009

Etiquette Monday - Table Manners

Having a formal wedding reception think of giving your wedding party a crash course in table manners! The basics to table manners:

Seating: Always enter and exit the chair from the right side. Its always a plus however not required for a man to pull out a chair to seat a woman. {Its a southern tradition}

Napkins: Place the napkin in your lap with the fold next to your body. In a formal setting the host or hostess should lead the party in placing the napkin on his or her lap. *If you have to excuse yourself from the dinner table, its proper to place your napkin on your seat or the arm of your chair.*

Utensils: Once you pick up your eating utensils do not put them back on the table. When provided utensils that you do not use, simply place it in the correct position on the plate at the end of that particular course so it appears it was used. This signals your wait staff that it should be removed.

American Style Dining: in the photo below this signals that you are at rest/still eating to your wait staff.

American Style: this image signals that your meal is complete.

Continental style of dining: I am resting/still eating

Continental Style Dining: I am finished, notice the fork is placed down

If soup is being served, always remember to spoon away from your body. Your utensil (spoon) is always placed on the plate & never left inside the bowl. Please remember to sip the soup from the side of the spoon and never from the front!

Passing the food - the individual that is closet to the bread or item requested may start. The correct way is to offer it to the person on your left, then serve yourself & pass to the person on your right asking them to pass the item around the dinner table.

Salt & pepper shakers are to be passed together and placed on the table, they should never be handed to someone!

Helpful tips to avoid:

  • Never put the following on the table; feet, handbags hands, elbows cell phones & sunglasses.
  • Men should never put their necktie inside their shirt or flip it over their shoulder....
  • Women should not retouch makeup or comb hair while seated at the table.
  • Never use your napkin as a bib! Well the exception would be a seafood/crab boil where its partially acceptable!!


Becca said...

What great tips! :-) haha I never know what I'm supposed to do!


Anonymous said...

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