Party planning should be fun and easy, so get things done in 15 minutes or less.

The 15-Minute Party Planner's blog breaks down basic party-planning tasks into simple actions that take 15 minutes or less. We're not here to make you the next Martha, we're here to help you be crafty quickly!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dinner party etiquette from the 15-Minute Party Planner

Gearing up for a fancy dinner party?  Make it easy on yourself by paying attention to these few simple rules of etiquette.

For starters, setting the table according to the diagram below.  (Just click the image to see the full-size diagram.)  Then, remember to "work your way in" with the utensils.  Start with the outermost forks and spoons for the first courses and work your way in to the utensils closest to your dinner plate as the meal progresses.

Need an easy way to remember which bread plate and drinking glass goes with which place setting?  Just stick your index fingers up while making circles with your other fingers (see right).  Your left hand—which looks like a "b"—matches up with the bread plate; bread plates are kept to the left of the dinner plate.  Your right hand—which looks like a "d"—should remind you that your drinking glass is kept to the right of your dinner plate.

Make your guests feel comfortable.  This is obvious, of course, but how do you do it?  By anticipating guests' needs.  In addition to the date, time, and location of your party, make note of the dress code so that guests know the expectations up front.  And while you don't have to create individual dishes for each guest,consider asking if anyone has any dietary restrictions or allergies; then, make sure you serve something everyone can eat.

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