The number of courses to be served during a Thanksgiving meal dictates which pieces should be included in place settings, says etiquette expert Cindy Grosso.

Even when a host uses fine china, sterling flatware and lead crystal, if the meal consists of just one or two courses, place settings should be simple.

These place settings from Grosso’s book, “Code of Distinction: Reflecting Your Personal Brand With Excellence,” are guides, she says.

Make adjustments to fit the number of courses and foods served at different times during the meal.

“If you are not having salad as a separate course, you would not need a salad fork,” says Grosso, founder of the Charleston School of Protocol and Etiquette (

When a salad is served on the dinner plate, instead of as a separate course, the dinner fork is used, she says.

Similarly, if no wine will be served, there should be no wine glasses on the table.

If there won’t be dessert, there should no dessert spoons and forks on the table.

But what would Thanksgiving be without pumpkin pie?

Reach Wevonneda Minis at 937-5705.

Let courses dictate your place settings