On Which Side of the Plate Do You Place the Napkin?

When setting a table informally, napkins can go on the left-hand side of the plate, but hosts and hostesses should place napkins in the center of each plate for formal occasions. Although people may use ordinary paper or cloth napkins for informal parties, they often present napkins with napkin holders or rings at formal gatherings for decoration.

In addition to napkins, other cutlery and serving items have appropriate places at the table. Forks should go on the left-hand side, with bread plates and butter knives to the top left. Stemware appears to the top right, while dinner knives and a spoon rest to the right of the first plate. Water glasses go just above the dinner knife; red wine glasses appear at the top center, while white wine glasses go to the right of water glasses.