How To Set The Perfect Table

More often than not, formality is, well, just a formality. We aren't all donning our three-piece suits to head to work and we certainly aren't used to using formal titles in casual conversations. But despite the fact that the times are a-changin' there are traditions that are still well-intact when it comes to dining.

Click here to learn How to Set a Formal Table (Slideshow)

If you're at a wedding, a swanky restaurant, or simply having important company over, setting a formal table is a fantastic way to make a classic impression. You can't deny that an elegant table is eye-catching. But having the know-how to do it the right way may be a little tricky. That is where experts like Annette Joseph, stylist and author of Picture Perfect Parties come in to help.

"Having a centralized place to store all of your tabletop essentials makes setting a table a snap," says Joseph. "In my cookbook Picture Perfect Parties, I teach you how to set up a 'Party Pantry.' It's the best way to make everything involved with setting the table go quickly and efficiently."

Once you have your party pantry stocked, you need to learn how to use it! That is why we compiled 13 useful tips to make your formal table a success. You'll learn the basic strategy for laying out your dishware, plus a ton of space and time-saving ideas to get you through setting faster. We love Joseph's suggestions on what to do with the kid's table and the importance of making the perfect centerpiece. You'll be able to impress your boss, in-laws, or anyone else who would appreciate an elegant dinner-party with these fabulous tips!

This story was originally published on March 12, 2014.