Updated: Jan 20
You don’t want to be stressing over your dinner table etiquette when it’s time to sit down to eat at your wedding reception. Plus, who wants to have embarrassing dining faux pas captured by your photographer? To avoid any embarrassment, ensure you are knowledgeable about common customs for dining etiquette.
You don’t want to hear your family matriarch in the back of your mind saying, “Sit up straight! Don’t slouch! Elbows off the table!”
Several elements comprise proper dining etiquette, and you must be aware of the dos and don’ts of dining.
Here are the common faux pas to avoid when dining for a special event:
Look the Part & Be Present
Come to the table, appropriately dressed, clean, and well-groomed before sitting down at the table. If you put on too much lipstick before dinner, then make sure you dab off any excess color to avoid leaving marks all over the flatware and napkins. You need to be present during this meal, so avoid looking at your phone, turn it off, set it to silent mode, and put it away, so it is not a rude distraction while dining with guests.
Be Posture Perfect
When you sit down, make sure you sit up straight, don’t slouch, and avoid resting your elbows on the table. If you are not eating, then place your hands in your lap. I always think of that scene in Princess Diaries where she is tied to the chair. It was silly but it actually works!
Be Nice to Your Napkin
Don’t fling your napkin out, but gently unfold it and place it on your lap.
Use your Utensils from the Inside Out
Unsure of which fork to use? Always start with the one on the outside and work your way in towards your plate. Hold your utensils properly. Grasp your fork like a pencil with your left hand, and place your knife gently in your right hand. Hold your knife an inch or two above the plate and rest your index finger along the top of the blade.
Don’t reach across the table to get any food items, but instead politely ask for them to be passed to you.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Pace yourself and eat slowly, but at a steady pace, and avoid rushing and shoving food into your mouth. Cut your food into small pieces before you eat to ensure you’re not eating too quickly. This will also help you not feel stuffed when it’s time to hit the dance floor.
Historical Dining Faux Paus Fun Fact
The book titled “Etiquette for Women,” published in 1901, explains how once you pick up a piece of cutlery, it should never touch the table again. Nowadays, this tidbit of information on dining etiquette is widely unknown.
Practicing and adhering to all the guidelines in the list above will guarantee that you are eating in a proper, polite, and refined manner and will increase the attractiveness, elegance, and sophistication of your wedding day.