I always do sit-downs. They're for anywhere from 10 to 40 people, and I put everybody at one long banquet table. It's like the Last Supper.
I only throw sit-downs. Sometimes that may be as casual as bales of hay covered with blankets in the barn, but I'm not a finger food kind of person, and I hate standing around in high heels. My very favorite dinners have around six to eight people, where you can have an interesting discussion.
Who sits where?
If I put someone who's a real talker next to a moderate talker on one side and a shy person on the other, then I know someone's going to carry the ball. There are certain friends to whom I'll say, "Hey, because I love you so much, you've got the work spot."
I always like to put people next to someone they don't know—maybe one person they do know and one person they don't know.