Ask an etiquette question, and you will get several answers. Then you decide for yourself how you would handle the situation. Callie Gordon is twentysomething, Lillie-Beth Brinkman is in her 40s, and Helen is 60-plus. At times, a guest will weigh in.
Question: I am having a dinner party. How do I figure out where to seat people so there is great conversation flow? Do husbands and wives need to sit next to each other? - Callie's answer: To keep the flow of conversation, I would not place husbands and wives next to each other. They see and talk to each other every day! New and different! To keep everyone in on the table conversation, put the most outgoing people in the middle and work out from the middle. Also, so as to keep it simple, I would put you and your spouse on the ends so that no one feels as if they are on the end being left out. - Lillie-Beth's answer: Seating guests at a party takes more intuition than rules, although start with the guest of honor with the host. Group people together who have common interests. Keep in mind personalities that will mesh. Mix it up if you can; best friends don’t have to be seated next to each other, but people who don’t like each other shouldn’t have to endure close seating, either. It’s a lot to be aware of as a host. - Helen's answer: Many hosts and hostesses spend a great deal of time working on seating for dinner parties to make sure guests have a great time. Seat outgoing people with shy ones.