Etiquette for the wedding dinner

The wedding dinner with the fresh new family is an important occasion. Want to show your best side during the dinner? Make sure to read these table manners and make them your own completely. Table etiquette makes the man or woman! We'll tell you all you everr need to know about table manners, whether this is for a chic wedding dinner or any other dinner for that matter.

What's the right way to do things?

First of all it's important to wait for the host to indicate that dinner is opened. In case of a buffet just wait until the buffet is (unofficially) opened.

When seated at the table, unfold the napkin on your lap and leave it there. It's unnecessary to use the napkin as a bib, you're not a child anymore and it looks a little strange to your table mates. An exception is when the bride wears a dress and absolutely does not want to spill anything. By the way, what a lot of people don't know: when having the folded napkin in your lap, make sure to have the open side point towards you. This way it's easy to wipe off some lipstick around your mouth using the inside of the napkin and the outside of the napkin will remain clean and white.

Never put too much food on your plate. Etiquette dictates that whatever you put on your place yourself you'll have to eat. So always start with a small portion, which has the added advantage of looking a lot more decent too. Remember that you can always go for seconds. Sometimes people are expected to leave a little on their plate after they've finished eating, to indicate it was delicious. In our modern world however, we try to waste as little food as possible, so this etiquette is a little outdated.

When food is being passed around, make sure this is done via the right side. Knifes are passed by handing the handle side to the other, not the blade. Bowls are passed with the handle pointing to the other person. When you're unable to reach anything on the table, don't start to reach across the table, but ask the person closest whether he or she can hand it to you.

During the wedding dinner

Obviously sit up straight at the table. And keep your hands above the table! Never lean with your elbows on the table, that comes across as rude and uninterested. And you've probably been told this by your mother a thousand times already when you were little, but: eat with your mouth closed and don't talk when you have food in your mouth.

When eating bring the cutlery to your mouth and not the other way around.

When you serve soup during dinner is good to know not to slurp it. In some cultures it's desired to slurp loudly, but etiquette in most cultures advises against this. The bread that is served with the soup is eaten with your hands and used to get the last bits of soup from your bowl.

However delicious it may be to chew those last little pieces of chicken or meat from the bones, if you want to abide by etiquette, don't do this. Find an easy way to cut the meat of the bone. Besides that, remember: rice is eaten with a fork and a spoon. When the food is still warm, wait for it to cool a little, then start eating. It's undesired to start blowing as it makes a lot of noise and you might blow food of your plate.

When you're finished eating, put your fork and knife in the so-called ten-past-four position. The knife should be on the topside with the teeth pointing down. The fork can be placed with its teeth pointing up or down. However, if the fork has a coat of arms, then the fork will be placed with its teeth down, making sure the coat of arms is visible.  
After the meal, fold the napkin and put it next to your place.

How much value do you put on the above table manners?

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