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May 2015 Archive

Wedding Etiquette :: Place Setting

Surprisingly, many people do not know how to properly set a table. Who would have thought?! I guess the age of Emily Post is sadly over, ugh! Now, we know you, yourself may not necessarily be placing your china and silverware out for your reception, at least we hope you’re not! BUT, you will be choosing every detail of where every glass, china, menu, and napkin are to be placed. You definitely do not want to misplace or improperly set your table for all of your dignified guests to see!

Here is the 101 run down on how to properly set your tables and some extra advice from the wonderful Emily Post, herself.

Okay, the very first step you will want to take when deciding your table setting is, choosing your menu…probably the hardest decision EVER, at least it would be for me! Why start with this step? Hmmm…I’ll take it straight from the mouth of Emily Post, “You should never have more china or silverware than what is needed.” With this being said, basically choose your menu first, and then you can properly decide exactly what & how many of each utensils and china should be set out for each guest.


Let’s move on to the rules of table settings, shall we? The one rule for a formal table is for everything to be geometrically spaced. The centerpiece at the exact center, the place settings at equal distances, and the utensils balanced equally. Beyond these placements, you can vary flower arrangements and decorations as you like.


Okay, so the chart above is basically the most formal setting you could possibly have, so if this is what you decide to go with, make sure you think about the size tables you decide to get. The smaller the table in this case, the less people you can sit at one because of how wide your table setting will be. Also, size plays a huge part. If you get a 16 inch round, you won’t be able to fit as much as you would with the same size of a rectangle table. But, if you choose a simple traditional setting, you could fit a few more people at a smaller table. This really decides on the size of your guest list.

Going back to the first tip, of picking out your menu first, the placement of utensils is guided by the menu, the idea being that you use utensils in the famous ‘outside-in’ order. The menu for the setting above is in the order of:

  • Appetizer: Shellfish
  • First Course: Soup or fruit
  • Fish Course
  • Entree
  • Salad

Let’s break the setting down Emily Post style. Ready for this?

(a) Service Plate: This large plate, also called a charger, serves as an underplate for the plate holding the first course, which will be brought to the table. When the first course is cleared, the service plate remains until the plate holding the entree is served, at which point the two plates are exchanged. The charger may serve as the underplate for several courses which precede the entree.

(b) Butter Plate: The small butter plate is placed above the forks at the left of the place setting.

(c) Dinner Fork: The largest of the forks, also called the place fork, is placed on the left of the plate. Other smaller forks for other courses are arranged to the left or right of the dinner fork, according to when they will be used.

(d) Fish Fork: If there is a fish course, this small fork is placed to the left of the dinner fork because it is the first fork used.

(e) Salad Fork: If the salad is served after the entree, the small salad fork is placed to the right of the dinner fork, next to the plate. If the salad is to be served first, and fish second, then the forks would be arranged (left to right): salad fork, fish fork, dinner fork.

(f) Dinner Knife: The large dinner knife is placed to the right of the dinner plate.

(g) Fish Knife: The specially shaped fish knife goes to the right of the dinner knife.

(h) Salad Knife (Note: there is no salad knife in the illustration): If used, according to the above menu, it would be placed to the left of the dinner knife, next to the dinner plate. If the salad is to be served first, and fish second, then the knives would be arranged (left to right): dinner knife, fish knife, salad knife.

(i) Soup Spoon or Fruit Spoon: If soup or fruit is served as a first course, then the accompanying spoon goes to the right of the knives.

(j) Oyster Fork: If shellfish are to be served, the oyster fork goes to the right of the spoons. Note: It is the only fork ever placed on the right of the plate.

(k) Butter Knife: The small spreader is paced diagonally on top of the butter plate, handle on the right and blade down.

(l) Glasses: These can number up to five and are placed so that the smaller ones are up front. The water goblet (la) is placed directly above the knives. Just to the right are placed a red (lc) or white (ld) wine glass. A sherry glass, or champagne flute, to accompany a first course or for an opening toast, go to the right of the wine glasses (le).

(m) Napkin: The napkin is placed on top of the charger (if one is used) or in the space for the plate. It can also go to the left of the forks, or under the forks if space is tight.


We hope you enjoyed this post about etiquette at your wedding! We would love to hear your feedback or any requests you have for blog ideas. Please send inquires to


Happy Thursday!

-Meta Lake

Venue Spotlight : Marriott Nashville At Vanderbilt University


 The Marriott at Vanderbilt University is a wonderful option to consider when deciding on a wedding venue. There are several wonderful packages to choose from for your wedding. These packages include hotel rooms, catering, rentals, decor, and much more. They’re an all in one which makes your wedding day so much less hectic! The wonderful hotel staff will be there to help you along the way, so that you’re never alone and that every detail is attended to.


 Not only is the Marriott a perfect venue for your wedding, but also, of course, a perfect hotel for you and your bridal party! Here’s why; you get a special rate, gorgeous views from your room, complimentary shuttle with 2 mile radius, an indoor pool, state of the art fitness center, + dozens of restaurants, shopping, + entertainment within walking distance.


If you are interested in learning more about the Marriott Nashville at Vanderbilt University, please contact

Groomsmen Gifts

There are so many options when it comes to picking out gifts for your bridal party, especially your groomsmen. Let’s face it, men are pickier than women ;)

First off we think that any gift you give should be personalized. Maybe it’s our southern roots and our love for monograms, but there is something about receiving a gift that is personalized that makes it that much more meaningful. The gift you select for your groomsmen should show appreciation and your respect for them. Below are a few of our favorite personalized groomsmen gifts!



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If monogrammed gifts aren’t your thing, you could always stick with the traditional route of a nice piece of jewelry or even a nice tie clip or wallet. My favorite type of groomsmen gifts would have to be the unique ones! There are so many neat ideas to give now a days. Here are a few of our favorites!

tool-bottle-opener_300Tool bottle openers! barrelaged-cocktail-kit_300Aged Cocktail Kit


Shaving kit!

There are so many options of groomsmen gifts to give. The one you choose should best reflect you and your relationship with your groomsmen.

Blog by Meta Lake

Fun Engagement Facts

Happy spring to all of you love birds out there! We could not be happier to welcome the warm weather as it approaches this week! :) Here are some fun engagement facts from Brides 2014.  What are your thoughts? Have things changed in the past year? Leave us a note in the comments box :)

1. 29% of men would wear an engagement ring

2. 14.7 months is the average length of engagements

3. 69% of couples take engagement photos

4. 62 proposals were made on the Jumbotron at Fenway Park in Boston in 2011.

5. 37 percent of brides were completely surprised by the proposal.

6. Approximately 2,000 couples get engaged every year at Disney World.

7. Percentage of brides who change their Facebook status soon after they get engaged: 75 percent.

8. Cost of the average engagement ring: $5,229 dollars

9. 27 percent of brides call their best friend first after the proposal

10. The most popular month for engagement? December.

Happy Thursday!