Whether it’s deciding if Chatty Kathy should be seated next to your boss or if you and your significant other should be side by side, finding the perfect seating arrangement for dinner parties can be tricky.In The New York Times weekend style section, Judith Newman, author of “You Make Me Feel Like an Unnatural Woman: Diary of a New (Older) Mother”, wrote how she frankly hates assigned seating because she reads too deeply into why the host place her next to so-and-so.
The general rule for seating arrangements seems to be that if there are more than six people attending, whip out the place cards. As hostess, you are responsible for connecting people.
Even though Newman petitions for seating arrangements to be banned, she does provide some tips for readers who prefer to go the traditional route. These five are absolutely key:
- The host and hostess should be seated separately. When the Obamas sat next to each other at a recent dinner party it angered a few people. Everyone wants to sit next to an Obama, so if they are seated next to each other, that cancels a seat of prime real estate.
- Same goes for best friends. Seat them apart so new connections are made and everyone feels included.
- Place talkative people at the centre of the table, and on opposite sides. That will keep the conversation flowing around the table.
- Make sure there aren’t “losers” and “winners” tables. If someone feels shafted by the seating arrangement, they might make a stink and ruin the fun for everyone.
- If you’re confused on who should be next to who, it could be as simple as “this person has a great idea” and “this other person is extremely wealthy.” Make connections.
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