THE ETIQUETTE OF SEATING OR WHO SITS WHERE
THE LADY GUEST OF HONOR
When dinner is called, the host leads the lady guest of honor to the table followed by the other guests. He pulls out the chair to his right and seats her.
GENTLEMAN GUEST OF HONOR
When dinner is called, the hostess takes his arm and allows him to escort her to her seat at the head of the table, where she remains standing. He then takes his place to her right, also continuing to stand. Both remain standing until all the ladies have been seated.
SECOND LADY GUEST OF HONOR
The second Lady Guest of Honor sits to the left of the Host. She is escorted to her place by the second gentleman guest of honor. He then takes his place to the left of the hostess.
SEATING THE REST OF THE LADIES
Ladies are seated by the gentlemen to their left, who remain standing until the hostess has been seated. When there is a single lady, the closest man to her left seats her.
SEATING THE HOSTESS
Even though the hostess escorts the male guest of honor to the table, she is seated by the gentleman to her left. She is the last lady to be seated.
WHEN THERE ARE NO GUESTS OF HONOR
When there are no guests of honor, the seats may be given to the eldest guests or closest friends. They do not have to be husband and wife. In the absence of help in the kitchen, I often make the announcement that the person to my husband = s right has been chosen guest of honor because she will have the distinction of helping me serve and clear the table.
Place cards tell your guests not only where you would like them to sit, but that they are important enough to receive special recognition as a guest in your home. Forty years ago place cards bore proper surnames, such as “Mrs. Robert F. Hart”. People addressed each other as “Mrs. Hart” throughout the evening unless they were close friends or family. Today, most people call each other by their first names. The table reflects this change. When people are invited who have not previously met, I include the last name on the card. Otherwise, the first name only is written unless two people have the same name. If you host a dinner party in a restaurant or club for more than two couples, it is good practice to bring place cards with you.