Table setting and the choice of dinner plates can be both a challenge and an art. When you are giving a more fanciful dinner, when the etiquette needs to be strictly followed, there are two solutions for your table setting and decorations: you either hire some professional team to do the work, or you learn all you can on the way today's society sees table setting the proper way. Maybe the use of exquisite dinner plates will not be something you'll include in your daily lifestyle, but the spare occasions you have shouldn't definitely spoil either the occasion or the pleasure of the planning as such.
The choice of the dinner plates is definitely influenced by the type of dishes you intend to serve, and the degree of formality has a heavy word to say in the matter: a casual dinner will always require less tableware than a formal one. Thus, the rule of the thumb is that the dinner plates are usually placed in the middle of the arrangements, which means that they occupy the very central area in front of the guest. So that you don't have people touching elbows during dinner, make sure that you leave at least twenty four inches for each dinner setting.
Dinner plates should have dinner forks placed immediately on the left side, while the knife occupies the right hand position; one small detail here is that the etiquette has it that the knives should be facing the dinner plates with the cutting edge. Placing the napkins is directly related to the general arrangement of the dinner plates and the cutlery, they are usually located just to the left of the fork. In some cultures, the napkins are rolled around the forks and placed right next to the dinner plates. Follow whichever practice appeals to you most, since there is a certain level of freedom in table setting as well.
The dinner plates used for more formal dinners definitely need to be fine china; however, if you decide to make the event more casual, then, the regular type of dinner plates you use should also do. Many people are also fussing about the additional elements to be found on the table in close connection with the dinner plates: wine goblets, glasses, tea cups and so on. Some of these items will have to match the plates, and this is probably the part that will give you the most trouble. One final tip here is that you try to keep the overall table setting as simple as possible, since too many candles and flowery arrangements could prevent the guests from relating to each other.