5 Important Accessories for Every Dining Table for a Formal Event

There are many dining table accessories out there and one is often confused which one to go for. If you are looking for a simple and basic dining table arrangement, then efficiency and use should be top priorities over anything else.

Here are five accessories that are important for a dining table. If you have been wondering what to shop for to get your sober table ready to host a formal lunch or dinner, this list would come in handy.


Table Linen: It includes a table cover, runners, and table mats. If you have a beautiful dining table and want to show off the surface finish, it is fine to skip the table cover. However, it is necessary then to throw a runner and place mats at the respective seats to prevent the bottom rim of dishes and accidentally spilled food to soil the table surface. You can skip the runner if you are using a table cloth but the mats are necessary in either case.

Coasters: Coasters are placed under beverages to avoid spilled liquid from damaging the surface of the table or the table linen, whatever comes first. These are often found in interesting patterns and designs, with the coaster holder often being part of the same design theme. They can also be seen as décor pieces for the dining area.


When it comes to coaster, it’s advisable to have lots of them so that guests don’t have to look for them when they need one. Sandstone or cork coasters don’t stick to the bottom of the glass and thus are less fussy.

Napkins and Rings: Napkins are placed on the lap by the diner to prevent food from soiling the clothes. After the

meal, they are used to wipe hands and tap away any particles stuck to the lips. Modern etiquette demands them not to be tucked in the collar. Napkins should be sturdy but not bulky; gently starched and pressed cotton ones are best suited. Choose something in a plain color that complements the table linen.

For formal occasions, napkins of the size 22-26 square inches should be used. While setting the table, they are placed to the left (right according to Europeans) of the plate and forks are rested on them. Napkins can also be placed in napkin rings. Lift from the center of the napkin and pull through the ring. The pointed end should be placed towards the guest.

modern-condiment-setsCondiment Servers: Condiment servers are little canisters that are used to keep ingredients like salt and pepper that can be used to adjust taste as the eater seems fit. Etiquette says that the salt shaker should be kept to the right of the pepper shaker. The pepper shaker should be angled a little above the salt shaker. Both of them should be placed between two seat settings.

Centerpiece: A centerpiece for a dining table serves an aesthetic purpose; being in the center, they give an order for the rest of the paraphernalia to be arranged around them. If you are using candles and dim lighting, then a candelabra kept in the middle of the table can be said to be aesthetic as well as efficient.

A vase with fresh or artificial flowers in the center of the table adds to the charm of the dining arrangement by providing a burst of color. You can be creative, add some figurine, throw in a fruit bowl, or some similar article. However, keep the seriousness of the occasion in mind. The center piece is just a decorative installment can be done away with if the table is small and the number of dishes to be served is likely to clutter the space.

So, these were the minimum items that are required for the dining table for a formal event. If you have arranged your dining table with these accessories, then you are ready to serve your guests, and they will be pleased with your skills. Do not forget to ensure that everything is clean and tidy, and the flowers or fruits are fresh.

While these were the bare essentials for a properly laid out dining arrangement, there are no limits to playing with textures and colors as long as you can keep up with the spirit of the event and avoid a gaudy appearance. After all, no matter how beautiful the dining arrangement looks, the real star would always be the food, isn’t it?

Do you have any dining table decoration ideas that you would like to share? We’d love to know. Tell us in the comments section.

Erin Emanuel

One Comment

Comments are closed.