Who Put Me Here? (An Argument Against Place-Settings)

Posted by Dave

In Thomas Jefferson’s White House, there were never assigned seats at state dinners. Guests simply sat… wherever. No wonder JFK praised Jefferson as a genius! Think of the hours he saved in deciding whom to put where, and the money he never spent on calligraphy.

More and more hosts today are following TJ’s example. Even at wedding receptions, a single table for two may sport a “reserved” sign for the bride and groom, while everyone else makes their choices based on proximity to food, dance floor, or to where their other friends are seated.

Assigning seating is especially tricky at gatherings where certain guests don’t like each other – the divorced parents of the bride or groom, for example, with their new significant others. The modified Jefferson method, with just the bridal couple’s table reserved, not only puts the focus where it belongs (on the bride and groom), but it avoids the recriminations associated with seating Dad and Trophy Wife Number 3 (or 4) more distant than Mom from the head table.

 

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