How to Arrange Your Guests at a Party

The intricacies of the perfect table plan have long been a mystery known only to the most seasoned of party planners. With in-laws inbound and parties in full flux, we wanted to share a few of our carefully gleaned tips to have you navigate the treacherous waters of the Christmas dinner party…

Before you start setting the table and writing the place cards, we recommend considering the conversational quirks of your intended guests. We have compiled a few of the common characters found at Christmas to help you host an evening of witty repartee.

How to Arrange your Guest at the Table - The Smythson Journal

The Nosy Neighbour

They have somehow wrangled an invitation to your party again and cannot wait to get the gossip from your nearest and dearest. We recommend sitting them next to The Hard of Hearing as their questions will fall on deaf ears (quite literally). Avoid at all costs sitting them next to The All Eyes On Me as this will only fuel their enthusiasm.

The Shy Type

They have interesting opinions but can be a bit reticent around strangers. You want them to have fun so seat them next to The Comedian or The Host as this will help to bring them out of their shell. It’s probably best not to seat them next to The Hard of Hearing or the Visiting Dignitary.

The All Eyes on Me - The Smythson Journal
The Visiting Dignitary - The Smythson Journal

The All Eyes on Me

The life and soul of the party, this person can sometimes take their exuberance too far. Seat next to The Comedian for an evening of hilarity or next to The Host to reign them in. They should probably not sit next to The Visiting Dignitary or The Nosy Neighbour as mentioned.

The Visiting Dignitary

What party doesn’t have a visiting dignitary? We know ours always do… This character needs to be treated with respect so think carefully before seating them. Tradition states they should be seated next to The Host as a reflection of their status. Avoid The All Eyes on Me and The Comedian.

The Hard of Hearing

Sorry, I didn’t catch that? If we have heard it once, we have heard it again. Seat this character next to someone who will not be deterred by this conversational quirk, we recommend The Comedian or The Nosy Neighbour as opposed to The Shy Type.

The Comedian

This person brings a touch of hilarity to any occasion and will certainly contribute to the success of your party. Either seat them next to someone who will benefit from their exhibitionism such as The Shy Type or someone who will help them to share their conversation with the group such as The All Eyes on Me.

The Host

The Host has the distinct advantage of knowing all of the personalities in attendance. They should be seated next to someone who requires a little extra attention such as The Shy Type or The Visiting Dignitary.

Whilst there are many other colourful characters who are sure to make an appearance at your next do, this is hopefully a good starting point. Now all you need to do is send out the invitations. If only you knew of some British stationery experts to help…

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