When you host a tea party or similar event, do you think about where your guests will sit?

Some hostesses believe place cards/name cards are presumptuous. In reality, a gracious hostess helps their guests with this decision. A guest who finds a place card feels a place was prepared for her. It also avoids the inevitable discomfort and shuffling that takes place (especially among women!) when guests have to decide where to sit.

As a hostess, making the decision about where to seat your guests takes into account many factors and dynamics. It takes time. I think through who already knows one another, who needs help knowing the other guests, and try to find balance between the two. I also think through which personalities tend to dominate conversations. I often try to place two domineering personalities next to each other so they engage in a little healthy competition for the attention. This relieves those who hold back from feeling dominated. There are other factors of similarity and difference you might consider as a hostess that will provide the most enjoyable experience for your guests at a sit-down event.

Lady Dawnya teaches that intimate is never more than eight and a table of four can sometimes be too small. I tend to agree and keep it in mind when planning my guest list and place cards. Last November I hosted a high tea (dinner meal) for twenty-two. I planned two tables of eight and one of six.

Tea Party Girl’s answer to the question of whether or not to use place cards is yes. At sit down events, place cards ultimately serve your guests.

So, dear readers, how are you cultivating relationships over tea this summer? Do you enjoy hosting others? Is your home a place of refuge and relaxation that you want to invite others into? When is the last time you hosted a few friends for a pot of tea and a little-touch-of-something?