The oyster fork is the only fork that is placed to the right of the configuration if it is to be used. Now that you know the basic rules for preparing the table, review table etiquette. Knowing how to prepare an informal table will be useful when you have the task of knowing how to prepare an informal table for a meeting or a relaxed dinner. Essentially, the basic table configuration, above, and the informal table configuration are almost identical, but at an informal table, a bowl of soup and a plate are added.
As a general rule, place only the glassware, crockery and cutlery that you are going to use. If you're not going to prepare a salad bowl, all you need is a fork for dinner. If you're only going to serve white wine, you don't need a glass of red wine. And if there isn't a bowl of soup, skip the soup bowl and spoon.
It's unlikely that you'll set up a table without knowing what you're going to serve your guests, so take the time to plan your table as thoroughly as your menu. Bookmark this page so that you can easily refer to it while you prepare the table before lunch, or share the diagrams with your children and ask them to prepare the table for dinner. Stephanie Sisco, editor of Real Simple Home, says that the biggest difference between an informal table and a formal table is the use of chargers, also known as presentation plates.