One thing my parents always emphasized as I was growing up were proper table manners. I learned to properly set a table when I was in middle school, and my parents made me practice all of the time until I learned it by heart! One of the best diagrams I've ever seen was in Miss Manner's book of etiquette, which is my go-to book for all etiquette.
A formal table setting diagram
Another thing to keep in mind when dining out or at another person's home is using proper table manners. Some manners that are important to keep in mind are :
- It's always polite to bring the host/hostess a small gift to show your appreciation. Some great gifts would be a bottle of wine, a monogrammed candle, a cute wine stopper, a cheeseball with a fun spreader. Check out Pottery Barn for some great ideas, they have a whole section devoted to hostess gifts!
- NEVER speak with your mouth full, and always chew quietly--no slurping!
- Sit up straight.
- Once seated, place the napkin on your lap.
- When eating out, never order a meal more expensive than the person paying for the meal.
- Take small bites and eat at a leisurely pace.
- Always say please and thank you.
- Never reach across the table, rather politely ask the person closest to the food you want to pass it.
- Always excuse yourself before leaving the table.
- Compliment the cook.
- Always thank the host or hostess for their hospitality before leaving, and it's always nice to send them a thank you note!
Sometimes it's hard to remember all of the proper table etiquette, but having proper table manners always makes a great impression! Hope you have a wonderful day!Miss Southern Prep