gatherings : Two Tips for Seating Arrangements

My sister's best friend, Kendall, threw a dinner party for her birthday and I was lucky enough to be invited along. It was one of those meals where everyone at the table was part of the same conversation, and the energy just kept increasing.  

Kendall's moms are experts at throwing dinner parties and they shared with me the two tricks they used for seating the table :

  1. separate couples and co-habitants : if guests are most comfortable talking to the person sitting directly next-to/across from them people will pair off rather than having a collective conversation. breaking them up means that if they want to talk to eachother - or tell a story together - they end up involving the people around them!
  2. seat the chattiest people at the center of the table : everyone has a friend who is the life-of-the-party. If you sit this person at the end of the table the guests around them will focus there rather than inward. At the best this splits the table in half ... and at the worst leads to complete silence from everyone else as they lean in to listen.  
Even though I was the newest to the group, there was never an awkward silence around me and my face hurt from laughing at the end of the night!  I'd never been to a party with place-cards before and it made such a difference in the flow of conversation. I felt like I got to know everyone at the table as they chimed in to add to the story or share a similar experience. 

do any of you seasoned hostesses have other seating tips to share?


(photos) on film with pentax k1000
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5 comments:

  1. This is such awesome advice! I would have never thought of those things!

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  2. Such good ideas! I always hate feeling like the awkward person that doesn't know everybody, and I LOVE when the group dynamic just flows!

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    Replies
    1. dynamic is the perfect word, Ariel! A good meal with good conversations is my very favorite kind of night - I'd take it over a raging party any day!

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