Me? I’m married to an American agent. Shall we sit for dinner?
Seating people at a dinner party in a way that makes everyone feel comfortable is as important as putting a maraschino cherry in a Manhattan. While you can certainly pair people according to a common interest or because they would normally never cross paths, we recommend seating guests according to personality type. Doing so tends to yield the most interesting, engaging, and enjoyable dinner partnerships and ensures a consistent energy level at all points of the table. Read on for our list of the eight “types” of dinner guests and how they pair best:
Cary Grant: The Charmer
The Charmer is the perfect dinner guest. He or she can talk to anyone about anything. Charmers can be seated anywhere but are most helpful next to Introverts and Fascinators.
Oscar Wilde: The Fascinator
The Fascinator is the guest with an intriguing personal story, occupation, or hobby. Fascinators mix well with Introverts and Charmers.
Bette Davis: The Opinionator
The Opinionator is lively and loves a good debate, often about politics. Opinionaters are fun and add energy to a dinner party, but they can also stir things up, so balance them with Charmers and Hosts.
Carol Channing: The Extrovert
The Extrovert. Extroverts are wonderful at a dinner party because they engage with others easily. They’re naturally drawn to each other, so be sure to spread them out or you’ll end up with all the laughter at one end of the table. They can be placed just about anywhere but are most helpful to the conversation when seated near or across from Introverts.
Greta Garbo: The Introvert
The Introvert. This is the guest who may be uncomfortable socializing in groups. Be sensitive to where you seat them. Introverts mix nicely with Fascinators, Charmers, and Extroverts. If they are very shy, they will appreciate being seated next to a Host.
Mia Farrow and Frank Sinatra at Truman Capote’s Masked Ball
Mystery Guests. The Mystery Guest is someone you and your guests may not know at all—perhaps this person is attending your dinner as the date of a guest—and he or she could be a wonderful or awkward addition. Seating these guests next to their date is often the most comfortable solution for everyone.
Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra
Guests of Honor. A dinner party’s guest or guests of honor should be seated next to the host or hosts. Traditionally, a female guest of honor would be seated to the right of the male host, whereas a male guest of honor would be seated to the left of the female host. Guests of honor mix well with Charmers and some Fascinators.
Clark Gable and Carol Lombard
Hosts. The one “rule” hosts should follow is to never sit next to their spouse or partner. To maximize their time with guests, hosts should split up and seat themselves next to their guests of honor.