Exploring the Four Types of Table Settings

Posted by Milena Kukurekovic on 3rd Aug 2021

Exploring the Four Types of Table Settings

Exploring the Four Types of Table Settings

Have you ever been to a formal dinner and asked yourself, “Why do I have so many things in front of me?” Well, you aren’t alone. As it turns out, each of those things has a specific purpose. If you need to know which type of setting you need for your upcoming event, try exploring the four types of table settings here.


A formal table setup is popular for weddings, holiday dinners, and any event with more than three courses. You can find it at high-end restaurants that serve many courses. The service plate is essential for each course in a formal table arrangement. Thus, you don’t have to provide it when setting the table. The formal table arrangement is the most symmetrical of all the table setting styles. As this table arrangement has the most utensils, utensil placement is the most crucial component. Symmetry also applies to table décor. The centerpiece must sit in the table’s center, with an even number of candles lining the table. Overall, the table setting is well-balanced and ideal for a formal dining experience.


The informal table setting is arguably the most popular one. It's ideal for casual weddings, dinner parties, or other occasions that call for a little bit of glam without overly strict atmospheres. The informal table setting differs from the formal table setting in subtle ways. In an informal dining setting, you use fewer utensils and glasses.


The basic table arrangement is essentially a condensed version of the informal table setting with a few minor variations. For example, there are no dessert utensils, and there may be fewer glasses. It’s ideal for midday brunches, casual social gatherings, or lavish parties at home. When you’re exploring the four types of table settings for a low-key event at home, this is suitable.


Only the essentials exist in the buffet setup. Guests typically collect their plates at the banquet table and serve themselves. So, there’s no plate or charger on the table. Additionally, because utensils are frequently available at the end of the buffet table line, having no cutlery on the table is commonplace.

Whether your event is best suited for the formal setting or a buffet, you should now have a better idea of which one you need. If you’re environmentally conscious, you can pick up eco-friendly bowls, plates, and silverware right from Posh Party Supplies!