When your Table Card – also called an Escort Card – for a wedding reception seating the dinner directs you to a specific table, but there are no individual place cards at the table, you politely seat yourselves.
- Traditionally, not next to the person who escorted you, but between someone you know and someone you don’t know at all, or as well.
- However, when the numbers swell for a dinner of more that eight – and possibly as many as two hundred, plus – organizing individual place card seating can be an organizational nightmare.
- Guests drop in and drop out, so you don’t want to waste time by drawing up a seating plan too far in advance.
The formality of the seating should be consistent with the formality of the wedding.
- Formal: At a Formal White or Black Tie Wedding where the dinner is plated and served, the formality of having individual place cards at each place setting follows the formal style.
- Semi-Formal: When guests plate their dinner themselves from a buffet, the guests probably are not formally dressed and there wouldn’t be individual place cards for each guest, but guests would be given a table number.
- This is appropriate when you’re mixing generations because you don’t want people wandering around forlornly looking for an empty seat (or two empty seats, if you’re not flying solo), so you give every guest a table number where they’ll find guests with similar interests.
- Informal: The least formal dress code would be a family-style wedding with a buffet, and open seating where guests can sit wherever they like. But don’t raise an eyelid. Such weddings are often over-the-top in other ways, such as quality of food, entertainment, decorations, location, and live music — and can be the totally the most fun.
*Ideally, when there are just table cards, the seating of up to ten guests should be able to arrange itself.
I, too, never mind seating myself, because I like taking a risk with the chance of meeting a real character that I may never have met otherwise.
- When possible, every guest should be flanked by a person of the opposite sex, which of course is becoming more common with the profusion of all-gender wedding guests and same-sex couples.
- A lively person or couple should be at each and every table.
- Aside from their spouse, every guest should be able to recognize at least one guest at his or her table.
- Married couples are never seated side by side.
- Tables are more successful when they are comprised of guests of the same generation with similar interests.
- By the way, tables of twelve or more in particular should probably have place cards.
In this instance, I’m assuming here that the other guests at your table knew one another or knew of each other — or shared a commonality.
- So, respecting your intelligence the host was leaving it up to all of you to NOT sit next to your spouse, but adhere to tradition by sitting between people of the opposite sex.
- It was left to the guests to fall into place and figure the seating out amicably without one person taking charge.
If the bully hadn’t taken over, the table would have politely seated itself.
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