Salt 101

It's Not Musical Chairs: A Guide To Seating Your Guests

We all remember that moment in school after the first day of free seating, when the teacher would show up with a clipboard—THE clipboard. Every semester, a new seating arrangement. In third grade it felt one of two ways—either like you’d won the lottery and were placed next to your crush or like the whole world was against you and you weren't at your BFF's table in social studies.

Thinking back, Mrs. George definitely had a field day with a bottle of wine the night before, playing cupid and vigorously stirring the drama pot.

That said, many of the rules of primary school seating do translate over to dinner party etiquette. At least some of the basics like not sitting the two most gregarious guests next to each other to avoid trouble and conversational bottlenecks. Scroll down to read some of the key things to keep in mind when planning your seating chart, no matter the occasion.

How to seat guests

1. Guest of honor sits to the right of the host.

2. Second VIP or guest of honor's S.O., goes to the left of the host.

3. Host and co-host should sit opposite one another and be nearest the exit or kitchen.

4. Alternate men and women.

5. Most gregarious person sits at the head of the table because they will likely get along with the most people and have stories to share to fill any gaps or silences.

6. Seat singles next to one another. Why not play cupid when you have the chance?

7. Sit multiple sets of parents next to each other to dish stories and…commiserate.

8. Pair people based on common interests, language ability, and expertise.

9. Don’t sit two people with exceedingly different outlooks on life or politics next to/across from one another. Keep your party as drama free as possible.

10. Don’t sit the most extroverted people next to each other.

11. Similarly, don't sit the quietest people together.

12. Don't hesitate to separate husbands and wives...they spend enough time together.