Seating chart….what is proper???

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: How is it done
    Add everyone's full name that you know : (15 votes)
    75 %
    Keep going the way you're going, just last names is fine : (5 votes)
    25 %
  • Post # 2
    6977 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    We just did everyone’s full name individually, no titles.

    Post # 3
    3217 posts
    Sugar bee

    Neither, I’d do First Last.  So full names but no titles. Or Last, First if you are going by last name.

    Titles are not often used in social correspondence.

    Last names only is weird.  I’d go with Bash family if you don’t want to use first names.  Only last names leaves room for question as to is it the whole family.

    Post # 4
    6171 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2013

    we did individual seating cards for everyong.  we used first and last name only.

    Jane Smith Table 2

    Joe Smith Table 2

    Nancy Jones Table 7

    Steve Jones Table 7


    Post # 5
    1971 posts
    Buzzing bee

    ForeverAndEverAfter:  I would use first and last names only (unless you are putting on a very formal event, in which case I think people would expect to see seating cards with titles).  This avoids a host of issues not just surrounding the use of Dr., but other titles as well (I know many women who would be a bit miffed to see a seating chart designating them as Mrs. when they have always used Ms., etc.).

    Post # 6
    1644 posts
    Bumble bee

    Good that you are avoiding the word guest! So you should. Anything less-than-perfectly-proper you do to achieve that goal is justified. But if you truly want to be perfectly proper:

    Put the “Mr and Mrs” in front of each name, not after it. You can still keep the chart in alphabetical order by last name. It will very slightly slow down the process of scanning the list, but this is a social event, not inventory at a major department store. Your guests can afford to take six seconds instead of five to find their names. Use titles for everyone: a hostess should treat all her guests alike, and give no indication that she has divided them into separate classes, whether those classes are “first” and “second”, or “parents” and “peers” (I presume old-maid aunts fall into the “parents” category despite their lack of progeny?)

    Most properly, in social situations first names are not used together with last names except where required for disambiguation. In fact if Mr and Mrs Band’s son “James” is the only “James” present he would properly be known as “Mr James” — but as you don’t move in circles where the strict proprieties of formal names are routinely used, I would stick with “Mr James Band” to  avoid confusing people.

    Also, the only titles other than “Mr” and “Mrs” that are most properly used, are those that reflect positions of public service. Medical doctors are included, since they are ethically obliged to provide care in an emergency. Academic doctors are not included, since there is little likelihood of an emergency arising where they will need to step in and translate middle english sagas or debate string theory. But that is their look-out, not yours. You address people by the title that they prefer to use for themselves. If you know some Adjunct Professor of Organisational Behaviour who prefers that “Dr” be used before her name in all situations, then you use it. A proper hostess always uses the names and titles that her guest prefers. The etiquette ban on using credential initials after the name in social situations is even stronger than the ban on using academic and business titles; but you still think that a guest will take offense unless you give them that recognition, then you do it out of respect for their feelings.

    Post # 10
    2264 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2015

    ForeverAndEverAfter:  I might have missed something pertinent, but why would asking your guests the names of their significant others or plus ones not be under consideration? 

    Post # 11
    262 posts
    Helper bee

    ask for the plus ones names, its typical for weddings.  

    but skip the titles

    Post # 12
    227 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    For the seating chart, I did “Mr & Mrs Joe Blow”.  for kids and young people I still put “Mr” or “Miss”.  For the unmarried people regardless of whether they have a SO or not, they are referred to as MR and/or MS.  But for the place cards on the table.I put the actual first and last names with no titles.

    When we got our guest list together, some of the guests were friends of our parents so we didn’t know some of their first names but gave us last names of the names of the men.  Eventually closer to actually officially putting things together, I requested from friends and family to give first names and last names for the place cards and that was good to go.  I think I only have 1 guest who has a “plus one” that i cannot find a name for the plus one so I am putting “guest”.  He doesn’t even know who his plus one is, so I told him, I am only putting, “guest” and he was perfectly fine with that!

    Post # 14
    2264 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2015

    ForeverAndEverAfter: Sort of false, but thanks. I’ve invested 15+ hours into researching titles and SOs and guests of every person on our guest list. It’s important to me that everyone at our wedding feel welcome and well hosted!

    For whatever it’s worth, I think it’s nice to ask the names of all SO’s/guests. It makes everyone feel much more welcome.

    Post # 15
    1629 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2014 - Church

    ForeverAndEverAfter:  I don’t even want to imagine what a crazy thing and how stressful planning a wedding with over 400 guests attending is, but I would have imagined with a wedding that size you would have had a lot of help to pull it off. I’m sure someone could have helped you get that information or your reply cards could have been done in such a way that the person could write their plus one’s name. I also think that your way is very complicated – you are lucky that so many people do not have the same name. We are having a much smaller wedding than you of just 80 guests and a lot of people have the same last name so we wouldn’t have been able to do it your way. That being said, you have decided to to keep on doing it your way and if that works for you, then that is great.  Also, I just noticed your wedding date and you are in crunch time so you don’t really have that many options if your wedding is coming up to mid-August.

    crackktheskyy:  I agree with you. I also have to say that I would feel strange at least not having some vague idea of someone’s name who would be attending my wedding (and would not be comfortable with it since a lot of women do not take her husband’s last name or are in common law relationships, let alone the guest and plus one even necessarily being in a relationship).

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