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How to set your Wedding Breakfast Table in true Royal Style

It’s hard not to get a little caught up in the excitement of a royal wedding. It brings out the love of a fairy tale romance in all of us.  With the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle just around the corner  we wanted to take just a little piece of royal etiquette and style and show you how to transfer it to your own wedding reception table.  So how do you inject a little bit of royal glamour into your own big day?

If you’re having a formal, sit down wedding breakfast then the key to creating that royal feel is etiquette.  There is, after all a right way for things to be done!  So where do you start?  Making sure your tables are set correctly is the perfect way to bring a bit of high society glamour to your reception.  It is easier to achieve than you would maybe think, there are just a few rules to follow.

So here is our guide to setting the perfect table for your own take on a royal wedding.

Royal Wedding Inspired Table Setting

Setting the Table

Whether you’re having a formal sit down meal or a more casual affair, the basic principles are the same. 

Dinner Plates

First, make sure everyone has as much room as possible and that every place setting is evenly spaced out.  Next, the dinner plate should always be at the centre of your setting and placed directly in front of your guest.  Side plates should be set to the left of the main dinner plates and be set even if they are not to be used.


Knives and spoons should be placed to the right of the dinner plate and forks to the left.  The blade edge of the knives should always face inward towards your plate.  The key is to work from the outside in towards the centre, with the cutlery for the first course on the outermost.  So if you're starting with a soup, this would be your soup spoon.  For a salad starter, then this would be your salad knife on the right and salad fork on the left.  If you are having bread, then a small butter knife would be placed on or near the side plate.  Cutlery for the dessert course should be set at the top of the place setting with the fork prongs facing towards the right and the spoon bowl towards the left, so you would naturally pick up the spoon with your right hand and the fork with your left.  The spoon should also sit above the fork.


Glassware should be placed above and to the right of the dinner plate and should include a glass for water, red wine and white wine.  If appropriate for the occasion, as will most likely be the case for a wedding breakfast, a champagne flute should be included as well.

Once you have your table organised, you can then add your finishing touches.

Tablecloths and Napkins

If you want to follow the royals, then nothing says special occasion more than a classic white tablecloth.  However, if you want an instant update to this traditional look but one that still retains a sophisticated elegance, then go dark.  A dark charcoal or navy cloth will create a very contemporary feel set against white or ornate crockery and silver or gold cutlery.  Generally your place setting is laid straight on top of the tablecloth but you could use a charger if that suits your table design.

Napkins should be simply folded - no swans please! Place them either in the centre of the place setting or to the left on your side plate.

Centrepieces and Accessories

Once you’ve mastered the layout for your tables, you can get creative and have some fun dressing and accessorising your tables for the big day.  Ideas and styles are limitless - just have a flick through Pinterest for more inspiration - but to create a royal feel for your tables we suggest you can’t go too far wrong with a large floral centrepiece or candelabra, and don’t think this has to be in the traditional sense, there a plenty of modern day takes on the traditional look.  Large blooms are on trend at the moment, look great and create a feeling of opulence, plus their size means you’ll need less of them. Up the anti with a tall candelabra on each table or fill your tables with individual candlesticks of varying shapes and height.

We have gathered together a few images below that we think make stunning wedding tables and really give that feeling of royal glamour.  We hope that we’ve inspired you to get creative and have some fun with your tables and shown, how you too can master the art of table setting for your big day.

Wedding table inspiration montage
Images from top to bottom:, The Mill at Elstead, Inspired Events Ltd, The Counting House, Plaisterers’ Hall, Blue Sky Flowers, Castle Howard and Gorcott Hall. All sourced via