Ask Colin: Planning


Colin Miller

Do I need place cards at my party?

I’m a firm believer in providing seating placements for my guests- whenever and wherever appropriate. (Professionally, we always do it for large formal occasions, but sometimes it’s called for with smaller parties.) The reason? First, putting guests in pre-determined spots allows me to account for the yin and yang of various personalities, to ensure social equilibrium and to balance the energy of the table. If I know Jane’s a live wire and Mary’s one, too, I’ll put them on opposite ends; if I seat them side by side, the other half of the table is going to be dead by comparison. I always try to alternate boy-girl around the table as well as to separate best friends, and husbands and wives. (They see enough of each other.)  Another practical aspect of place cards: They’re a valuable crutch for those who might have a difficult time remembering names.