Some dinner parties are formal, with place cards to show you where the host or hostess wants you to sit. If not, ask whether there are seating preferences. Wait until the host sits before you do. In some cultures, a blessing will be said. Even if you don’t follow the beliefs of the prayer, show respect and remain silent. If the host offers a toast, lift your glass. It is not necessary to “clink” someone else’s glass. If you are eating out, you should wait until all members of your group have been served before picking up your fork. At a private dinner, observe the host or hostess and pick up your fork when he or she does. However, if you are at a buffet, you may start as soon as others are seated at your table.
General cutlery etiquette
In most situations, following the “outside-in” rule will tell you which knife, fork, or spoon to use for each course: use the utensils on the outside first and work your way inward with each new course that is served.