The Civilized Minute

a minute of manners and musings

dinner party seating strategies

Real Simple magazine does it again. They continue to out-do themselves by providing real and usable information. Plus, the pictures are always great and give me fun ideas. Makes me feel crafty. I nearly always go to Hobby Lobby soon after reading through this mag and this is nearly always a $25 adventure.

I stumbled across this article, Dinner Party Seating Strategies, as I was looking for some last minute Halloween party tips – because I’m a last-minute-party-planning-kind-of-girl.

When I’m asked to work with a group on how to host a dinner party, I find that the seating arrangement isn’t a high priority. Party givers are usually more concerned with the food and drink and, while these are very important (very very), who sits where is also a biggie. This article does a terrific job of describing common personality traits of guests and gives clear and clever instructions on where these personalities should be placed so that conversations run smoothly and everyone feels comfortable.

Table set for a dinner party

I snagged this picture from the article. Clean, crisp. I really do love their pictures.

There is one point in the article, however, that I want to talk about. It has to do with whether or not you should use place cards. Here’s what they say: 

Arranged seating can help defuse awkward situations, but it also adds an element of formality to your party.

Here’s what I say: Unless you use embossed cards with gold lettering, place cards do not have to be an indication of formality. If you are hosting a group of people, it’s practical to have place cards. Directing traffic around the table will be one less thing you have to do. Further, there are a million ways you can install a place card in a casual and interesting way. You are limited only by your imagination…and the number of people who didn’t RSVP. 

RSVP’s…now, that’s another post altogether. 




One response to “dinner party seating strategies

  1. Pingback: modern manners? « The Civilized Minute

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