(Closed) Proper Etiquette for Seating Chart

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
916 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I would list any unmarried couples (opposite- or same-sex) separately under each of their names. 

Post # 4
1090 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I would do what you think… Put it under S and not J. Especially if you know the female 🙂 It looks wonderful though!

Post # 5
197 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I would list unmarried couples seperately, I am pretty sure that is how most seating charts/escort cards work.

Post # 7
1697 posts
Bumble bee

Hurrah for people who do actually do want to use proper etiquette!

First, at a social event, you do not use both the given name and the surname together with the title. It should be Mr. and Mrs. Smith (no “John”) and Ms. Smith and Mr. Jones. At a wedding, you often have several guests from the same family, so the senior guest gets to use the surname, and any junior guests of the same name use their given names. Like this:

I am the eldest unmarried female in the Phipps clan, so I am “Miss Phipps”. I was “Miss Aspasia” until my elder sister got married. My nieces with the Phipps surname are “Miss Sophia” and “Miss Racquel” and will be until I marry or die, or they decide to change their title or surname. My dad was “Mr Phipps”, and by brother Al and his wife were “Mr and Mrs Aloysius” until Dad died, at which point they became “Mr and Mrs Phipps”. Note that British usage which is considered correct in English-speaking countries outside the U.S.A. doesn’t use a period after “Mr” or “Mrs”; but it’s correct for Americans to use the period just as it’s correct for Americans to spell “honour” as “honor”.

Second, etiquette’s notion is that some strong healthy person capable of pushing through the crowd will go look up the names, then return and gallantly escort the more delicate fragile people safely to their tables. So you should list the names by the name of the male member of the party, as his masculine pride will make him assume he is the one to perform reconnaisance on the seating chart. In the case of an elderly or frail gentleman being escorted by, for example, his young fit unmarried daughter — you still put it under his name even though she will be doing the looking-up, because that is where she will be expecting to find it. In the case of same-sex table-partners (who are not necessarily lesbian: they might just be a pair of well-suited single guests that are seated together) you would list the names under the elder of the two, or the more socially prominent.

Third — and etiquette expects to be ignored on this matter, since if you were to follow etiquette anyone unfamiliar with haute society would think you were “wierd” — you are not supposed to seat husband and wife side-by-side at a formal meal. Married partners are supposed to be accomplished at small talk and conversation, but possibly to be running out of small-talk topics to use on one another. Seating them next to a new partner allows them to explore new territory, and prevents them from falling into the kind of intimate family in-talk style of conversation that might exclude their fellow table-mates. And, if you can seat them far enough from one another that they cannot complete each others’ jokes and correct one another’s anecdotes, so much the better! Sisters and brothers should be separated from one another for the same reason.

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