My Little Etiquette Shop: Shuffling Placecards is a Gamble – and the House always Wins

Oh the poor bride and groom.  They slave away in the last busy weeks before their big day, trying to achieve that elusive goal: the perfect seating arrangement.  PlacecardThe one where feuding cousins are on opposite sides of the dance floor, and Uncle Carl the anesthesiologist plays wing man for the med student who’s chatting up a bridesmaid at the next table over. But when the Mr. & Mrs. enter to cheers and glide onto the dance floor, they look around and realize that their careful plotting has been horribly botched.

We know what’s happened.  For years guests have taken it upon themselves to “improve”  seating plans. If they aren’t sitting with a particular friend or family member they do what they believe is an innocuous thing; switch placecards, or “lose” escort cards.  They don’t think about the fact that their seating has been carefully considered. Event staff may intervene – but more often than not, they (wisely) decline to engage this type of personality so as not to ruin a lovely evening.

How can you help?  Simply put, sit where you’re asked.  Period.  No one stays in their assigned seats much after the entree anyway, it’s not going to kill you to wait until cake to catch up with your sorority sister across the room.

The “House Always Wins” part works like this:  karma wise, you’re sealing your fate of future event tables full of Mommies & Me, Aunts Who Can’t Hear, and Uncles Who Don’t Shut Up.  Plus you can count on word of your behavior getting back to the bride/groom or mothers thereof, enshrining your difficult reputation for the rest of your days.  Every Christmas Party, Baby Shower, Barbeque…you’re forever “the one who messed up the wedding.”  Are you good with that? No? Then reign in your inner maitre d’.  Really feel the need to seat people? Open a restaurant.