the Prefect Host

September 8, 2011

Being a host means thinking about the comfort of your guests. This should include making sure dietary restrictions are taken into consideration, preferred beverages are on hand – especially for non-drinkers – and the mix of company is interesting and complimentary.  And, on that note… inviting a group of people over that you think may all get along and mix together well is the first step to a successful dinner party.  To really make certain the night goes off well think carefully about your seating arrangement and how the guests are arranged.  Things to keep in mind: Spread the storytellers and loud talkers out, do not put them all at one end of the table!  Split couples that have been together for more than a year ( that’s old-time etiquette ) and try to put folks together who you think might get along based on common interests.  The host should be at the head of the table – or closest to the kitchen – and the person to the hosts right is considered to be the guest of honor.  To ensure that your guests find their way to the right spot use place cards.  Good friends might groan a little – not liking to be told where to sit – but trust me, your off to a good start if you have given thought to the layout of your guests.  Aside from a fabulous dinner your job now is to make sure everyone is engaged in conversation, ask questions of those who are quiet, make sure everyone has water, wine, and anything else they may require and remember to point out to dinner companions their common interests so they have “talking points” and it will break the ice, so to speak.

OK, so now the fun part!  Name tags.   Please please please, have some fun with this.  think about the theme of the meal, birthday, fiesta, fall, christmas, new years, etc. and use that to help you decide how best to incorporate name tags on to your dinner table.  The image above is from a friends dinner party, the names of each guest were written directly onto the butcher paper runners and clear chargers were used to allow the names to remain visible until the guests were at the table, smart and beautiful!  Below is small collection of beautiful tables and a sampling of other creative ways you can mark seating assignments, try something interesting and it becomes another topic of conversation to really get your party going.   


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