Alright, ladies and gents. I get asked all of the time what are a couple of “advanced” etiquette rules. I really prefer thinking of etiquette as all on the same level and easily used by everyone, but I get their gist. Essentially, what are some rules not everyone normally knows? First, the hosts should sit at each head of the table. The female guest of honor sits at the right of the male host, and the male guest of honor sits at the right of the female host. This way everyone gets to converse with someone new. As my husband is known for saying (and by known for, I mean what he told his boss yesterday who plopped down beside me), “I get to see her every day.” Sigh…such a romantic I married. 😉
Anyhow, once you’re comfortable knowing where to sit (and a good host will have place cards for a more formal dinner), what do you do? Dig in! I kid, I kid. Place your napkin on your lap. Remember this one? I’ve been over it once or twice before. Ahem. Once you’re ready to actually eat, only cut one or two bites (when splitting a large piece, it makes two. Look at that math…). While it is considered rude to pre-cut your meat, it also makes sense in keeping your food warm for longer.
Now, while you never should salt or pepper your food prior to tasting, if someone asks for the salt, remember that pepper is a jealous spouse and wants to tag along, too. They’re married. Don’t split them up. Pass them as a pair. Fun fact: formal dinners should have individual salt and pepper holders (sometimes shakers, sometimes small bowls with tiny spoons) at each place.
Now, I had to just throw in a picture of my Christmas table just because. 😉 What are your other table etiquette questions? Thanks for reading!!