Which is My Bread and Butter Plate?

Wedding Etiquette: Which is My Bread and Butter Plate?

Bread as a particular symbol and food in general, becomes, in its sharing the actual bond which unites us” – Margaret Visser

As the wedding season begins, Southworth Paper has beautiful templates to create wonderful wedding programs to keep guests informed. But when you sit down at a wedding reception, do you know which plate to use for your roll?

The event tables are usually set for 10 to 12 people. The natural reaction individuals have is to claim the plate that appears to be in front of them. The one on the right – correct? No, if this is the plate you claimed you would have selected the wrong plate and then the domino effect would cause everyone at the table to have the wrong plate as well. Your bread and butter plate is always on your left. A simple way to remember this is to know: That solids are on the left liquids are on the right. There would never be a question as to “Which is my Bread plate” if everyone understood this simple rule.

If you happen to be seated by the roll basket feel free to start passing the rolls. The correct way to do this is to offer left, pass right. That means when you start the roll basket you should offer the basket to the person on your left, first. Then you may place a roll on your bread and butter plate and then continue passing to the right. It should then continue around the table. The reason for the rule is that leaving the person with nothing to eat while you eat is not good manners.

The other part of this dilemma is the butter- it is served any number of ways. Sometimes it comes as fancy marked balls, or possibly beautifully molded shapes. I have seen it shaved, foil wrapped, in little tubs and even just a plain square on the plate already. Any way it comes the same rule holds true. Offer left, pass right. When you take the butter off a plate or bowl that is passed, use the butter knife that comes with it or use the one that is set on your bread and butter plate.

Hopefully as you attend wedding after wedding you can now educate others as to which is their Bread and Butter plate, simply by claiming your correct plate. Enjoy your next basket of rolls knowing you got it right!


Cricket Wantland is a graduate of The Protocol School of Washington and is a Certified Consultant of Corporate Etiquette, International Protocol and Children’s Etiquette. She lives in Southern California and offers classes and training to all ages. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter or check out her website at http://www.poisepolishpanache.com/

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One Comment

  1. smartin
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    I always wondered which plate to use. Thanks for showing us the way.

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