Setting a Formal Dinner Table: What Goes Where?
Start with the dinner plate, which we all know goes in the center, and place a salad plate or soup bowl on top of it. The charger, if you're using one, goes underneath the dinner plate. To the upper left of the dinner plate goes the bread plate and butter knife, and to the upper right goes the water glass and wine glass (and the coffee cup, but it usually isn't placed until the dessert course).
The napkin can be placed many ways. In the water glass, to the left of the forks, or in the very center on top of the salad plate. Also, sometimes dessert utensils are placed horizontally (directly above the dinner plate) as in this example.
Remember that you should only place plates, utensils, and glassware that guests will use during the meal -- i.e. don't set out soup spoons if soup isn't on the menu.