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Table Card Holders: Your Number's Not Up -- Or Is It?

Mar 22, 2008
No matter how smart your guests are, if you have more than one table available, you need table card holders. From separating feuding in-laws to just making sure that Uncle Joe isn't too close to the bar, table card holders are going to ensure that your event goes smoothly. Or at least, as smoothly as can be expected when you invite your friends.

Making Everyone Happy Enough

There's a pecking order when it comes to the way tables are arranged. Those who are closer to the guests of honor are the "chosen" ones in the guest list. These are the people who are obviously more important to these special people. But since you can't fit everyone at that head table or even close to it, you need to have a battle plan for making sure everyone doesn't curse your name as soon as they find their seat.

- Use personalized table card holders -- When you not only number the table but also include their name at their place, you've shown that this is a person you meant to invite to your party and not just someone you're hoping will bring gifts.
- Keep friends and family together -- Even if a group of friends or family is way at the back of the dining, at least they can vent to each other about their poor seats. After all, complaining is going to keep them occupied.
- Give away favors -- Everyone wants something for free, so alongside the table card holders, make sure you place a small token of your appreciation: a chocolate, a five dollar bill, etc.

While it's unlikely that everyone is going to get the seat they really want, at least they won't be too loud in their discontent.

Other Tips for Setting Up Your Tables

But it's more than just the table card holders that you need to be worried about when you're making that dreaded seating chart. You also need to be aware of your space constraints and the people who you've invited. Here are some extra tips to help you get through the planning process:

- Don't have too many people at a table -- Sure, on the piece of paper it looks like ten people will fit comfortably around that table, but not everyone is as thin as you think they are. No more than eight people should go at a table.
- Put the table card holders in a place where they can be easily seen -- If your great aunt Trudy can't find her spot, she's going to give up and set anywhere -- even next to cousin Ralph who's the family jokester. Instead, make sure the card holders are high up on the table and not obscured by a plant or a centerpiece.
About the Author
Able Kitchen (http://www.ablekitchen.com) sells table card holders and other restaurant equipment online for great prices due to large bulk purchases. The author, Art Gib, is a freelance writer.
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