Yesterday I saw a great article on Real Simple's web site - Dinner Party Seating Strategies. This is so good to know if you're having multiple guests over who aren't already chummy. It's not old fashioned to use place cards or instruct your guests where to sit...it's useful and is instrumental in making sure everyone has a good time. I do disagree on one point, and that's the bit about a party of more than 8 guests requires a completely separate table. I think one long table is fine, if you have the space. Other than that, the article is spot-on. Read it for some great tips!