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Marriage Manners Monday | Table Manners – What’s Important vs What’s Not?

Ever been seated in front of cutlery and have no idea which one to pick up first? Well have no fear! We’ll help you navigate the Silver Rules (and then some) (:

According to Emily Post, the basic manners of eating fall into two basic categories – manners that make a difference, and those that don’t. Remember Emily Post’s observation that it isn’t which fork you use that matters. What matters is that you use a fork.

Photo: Amber Hughes Photography

Eating customs that don’t really matter but that you still may care to take note of include these:

  • Use silverware from the outside in (I like this easy rule!)
  • Pass all food and containers to the right, to avoid logjams and to ensure that everyone is served.
  • Pass the salt and pepper together.
  • Place your fork and knife side by side in the “four o’clock position” on your plate to indicate that you’ve finished eating.
  • It’s okay to place your elbows on the table between courses (whew!)
  • Don’t feel you have to eat everything on your plate.
  • Place your napkin to the left of your place setting whenever you excuse yourself from the table.
  • It’s okay to glance at the handsome gentleman or knockout woman at the next table.

Here’s a list of table manners that really DO matter:

  • Avoid rude noises and emissions; excuse yourself from the table if you need to make any of these.
  • Do make sure that you chew with your mouth closed.
  • Do ensure that you have swallowed all of your food before you talk.
  • Make sure that you take small bites of your food.
  • No one’s going to take your plate away; it’s okay to eat slowly and deliberately.
  • If everyone else is finished, it’s not okay to dwadle over your food.
  • Do be discreet about nose-blowing at the table – a gentle blow is fine, but if you need to unleash a honking blast, it’s better to excuse yourself to the restroom.
  • Avoid talking too loudly or laughing uproariously for consideration of those around your table.
  • Never use your cell phone at the table to answer calls or texts.
  • It’s not okay to stare at the handsome gentleman or knockout lady at the next table.

So there you have it! Basic table manners, according to Emily Post! We hope that this will help you navigate smoothly through all the social functions!