Setting a table correctly is an art in itself. The plates, glasses, napkins and cutlery should carefully be placed in the correct locations, and salt and pepper should always be on the table. Table decorations or centrepieces should never be too high, otherwise, you won't be able to see each other! When it comes to the tablecloth: you can never go wrong with white.
There are rules of table culture that are not to be broken! Beautiful candle holders and vases should never be too tall. Underplates arenot necessary, although they make it easier for the host to change courses. Nowadays it is also completely fine to change the silverware with each course so as not to overwhelm your guests. If you prefer to follow the customary silverware setting rules, deciding which piece of cutlery to use is simple: always work your way from the outside in.
One more thing: if you know that a guest is left-handed, it is also completely acceptable to set their place from the opposite direction, although this may confuse their right-handed neighbours.
Some people are annoyed by the many glasses required by place setting, however, a festive table means providing various glasses for your guests enjoy their beverages. Glass are always placed above the knife - the glass to the far right should hold water, followed by a glass for white wine and one for red wine. Champagne or sparkling wine should be served in flutes and should be placed on the table as they are served. If a guest prefers to drink beer, you may remove the wine glasses from the table.
Theme napkins: elegant festive napkins may be placed directly on the bread plate, or to the right with a little bread knife if there is a bread basket available.
No-Gos: toothpicks should never be seen on the table, this goes against table etiquette. Stain resistant tablecloths or oil cloths are disgusting. Too much creativity in the table decorations can be irritating, space consuming and overwhelming. Ashtrays are also a no go unless ALL guests and the hosts are passionate smokers. If you must provide ashtrays, please provide ashtrays with style! Also: Shakey tables are an unforgivable faux pas! Flowers on the table should always be freshly cut, pots on the table are an absolute no.