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 when there are others seated at your table.
Some dinner parties are formal and have place cards where the host or hostess wants you to sit. Once the host unfolds his or her napkin, you should remove your napkin from the table or plate, and place it on your lap.
If you are dining out, you should place your napkin in you lap immediately.
After you are finished, place your napkin on the table to the left of your plate.
If you are eating out, you should wait until all the members of your group have been served before picking up your fork.
If you see the host or hostess doing something different, you may follow his or her lead.