Place Setting Diagram: Know about the details and the Etiquettes

place setting diagram

If you have a huge event or ceremony coming up, chances are that you’d want everything to go smoothly, without any kind of glitch. Table or place setting is one of the most important factors to keep in mind while arranging for an event.

For those who are into event management and know the basics surrounding it, you’d know how important it is to have the place setting diagram sorted for ease of the process.

In here, we are going to be sharing some of the basic elements associated with place setting diagram and everything you possibly need to know about the etiquettes associated with it.

What is a Place Setting diagram?

A place setting diagram is a rough outline of the elements that need to go in an individual place in a table, including the cutlery placement as well as the towels and the napkins.

what is place setting diagram

This is an integral part of any event and is important that you have the perfect layout for the same customized as per your needs and requirements.

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There are a number of elements included in a place setting diagram, depending on what kind of event theme you are going for and also the kind of overall needs as per the guest list and the food catering.

What are the types of place setting events?

Before we talk about the elements that go into a place setting diagram, it is quite important that one knows of the varying events that require these kinds of diagrams.

Some of the important events that require place setting diagrams include:

Casual table setting

These are the ones that you generally see around in family dinners or even in the local restaurants that you visit for your dinner reservations. These don’t include a lot of elements and do have a very basic set that one does need to illustrate. All the utensils for this kind of a setting is placed over a folded napkin which is then kept to the left of the dinner plate.

Semi-formal table setting

The next one is a little fancier and requires a few more elements to be included in the place setting diagram. The illustrations in this mainly do depend on personal style and customization that one might need.

These are often included in a classic dinner party with hosts and guests in a venue. They have the basic elements and a few more that make this a better version of the casual table setting.

Formal table setting

formal place setting diagram
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The last but not the least if the formal table setting which includes a lavish spread of things that requires the inclusion of all the elements required for the diagram. These kinds of table setting requires a very detailed place setting diagram to ensure that all the elements are included and that too in a correct manner.

What are the elements involved in a Place Setting Diagram?

When you are doing a place setting diagram, there are a few quintessential elements that you need to know about. Knowing these helps you sort out the diagram accordingly and to the needs of the client you are working for.

It is important that knows for a fact that the place setting diagram will vary from one person to the other. While the basic table etiquettes are going to be the same, it is the little nitty gritty in the final result that varies.

Some of the basic elements involved in a place setting diagram include:

Dinner plate

This is possibly the protagonist or the epicenter in a place setting diagram which is drawn first and surrounding which the rest of the elements are placed and arranged. This is the very first thing that is drawn because that is mostly what takes up majority of the space on the table. This is often paired with a napkin that is kept on top of it.


The next element is the forks. Predominantly, there are two different forks which are illustrated on the left side if the dinner plate. The larger of the two, the dinner fork is used for eating the main course while the smaller one is used for appetizers or the entree. The salad or the smaller fork is drawn on the outside of the left followed by the larger one.


Yet another important element for the place setting diagram that is a must is the napkin. The way it is kept completely depends on the requirements but for the most part, it is folded and kept atop the dinner plate or sometimes even to the left of the forks. You might also illustrate a folded napkin underneath the forks.

Dinner knife

Unlike like the forks, the dinner knife is kept just to the right of the dinner plate. You should illustrate in a way ensuring that the cutting edge of the knife is inwards (towards the plate).

In formal events, you might get different knifes, based off of the food provided like the steak knife for example. If the place setting diagram is for a formal event with such kind of a menu, it is important to include the varying knives accordingly.


Spoons account for an important element too and are placed on the right of the dinner plate, just beside the knife. If there are different courses like the soup and dessert, there needs to be inclusion of those spoons, placing them in the outside in order. There are soup spoons, for main-course and for the dessert.


The glasses in a place setting diagram always go on the top right of the dinner plate, irrespective of what kind they are.

Salad plate

The salad plate is included to the left of the forks and is an important part of the diagram. It is very common for this to slip your mind during the drawing but it does count for a very important and integral part of the diagram.

How to draw a Place Setting Diagram?

Now that you know of the types of events that require place setting diagram and the kind of elements involved, the process of drawing the diagram isn’t that tough.

Some of the common steps involved in a place setting diagram include:

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  • Identify what kind of event the diagram is for
  • Take a list of the catering and the food courses to be service
  • List out the elements that are required for the place setting
  • Draw them out as per the requirements and the placements suitable

Benefits of a Place Setting Diagram

Lastly, with the basics wiped out, it is quite important that you do focus on a few important benefits involved with the place setting diagram.

Some of the most important ones include:

Helps bring the vision to life

Every event is different and everyone does have different requirements when it comes to the kind of place setting that they want. Having this done in a visual format helps understand the process a lot better and helps in bringing the vision of an individual to life.

Better detailing

Having the place setting diagram done before the final execution of the table setting helps in wiping out any chances of errors in the final results. This is one of the reasons why these diagrams are often included as a part of the big event management.

Faster efficiency

With a place setting diagram sorted, it becomes a lot easier for the people setting up the table to have a standard guide to work with, ensuring that everything is done uniformly and in the same format. This also enhances the overall work efficiency, making the process a lot easier to handle, especially when we are talking about the big events.

The End Note

If you have a big event coming up and just round the corner, we would suggest that you ask your event management team to get the place setting diagram done before the main event. Having done that helps execute the entire table settings seamlessly and without any kind of glitch that you could possible experience otherwise. We hope that this basic insight into the place setting diagram does come in handy for you.

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