Every couple needs to make several important decisions in order to have a perfect wedding. One of the most complicated and connected set of decisions a couple makes is the seating arrangement for their guests. However, there are several tips to make this decision as easy as possible.
Although some couples prefer not having seating assignments and giving their guests freedom to sit where they wish, we consider this is only a good option if the wedding will involve few guests. Having a seating plan will ultimately decrease anxiety to your guests and you on your wedding date and, if done properly, your guests will have someone they can feel comfortable talking with next to them.
Before making your seating plan, make sure you know how many guests will attend and their correct names: You will not want to misspell a name! Also, decide if you want round, square or rectangular tables, how many tables you want in your disposition and how many seats per table.
An easy way to begin your task is to write down all your guests’ names in a computer document and afterwards separate them into relationships or categories. Keep people that don’t get along in separate tables. They will appreciate it. Apart from this, make sure couples are seating together.
Next, try to separate these lists of people into tables. Everyone should be with at least someone they know in their table. We recommend doing this in a computer because it is easily editable but if you are a more visual person, then you might want to do this on paper, a big poster or a white board, and draw circles (or squares or rectangles) as tables. Sticky notes can be used to write your guests names since they are easily movable.
The head table is the table where you and your partner will be seating. It is often rectangular and everyone is seating on one side of it. It is not typically round, but you can make it round if this makes you feel more comfortable. Usually, this table includes the wedding party (bridesmaids and groomsmen). Depending on the size of your wedding party and the type of table, you can also include their dates. The table is located in a focal point where it is noticed.
The newlyweds usually sit in the middle of the table where they are easily seen. If it is a male/female couple, traditionally, the groom seats on the bride’s right. However, if it is a same-sex couple, the couple can feel free to decide who wants to sit on the right of whom. The maid of honor sits next to the groom and the best man next to the bride. The guests in this table traditionally alternate between female and male. Consider including the flower girls and ring bearers in this table as well.
Examine having your parents and your partner’s parents together in a shared table near your table. If you perceive this will be uncomfortable for them because they are either divorced or they don’t get along with each other, have them host their own table with their close friends.
Another option you might consider is having a sweetheart table for just you and your partner to share. Apart from this, you can also choose to have dinner with your parents and invite them and your partner’s parents to your head table instead of having your wedding party there. If this is your case, have a separate wedding table for your wedding party or sit them amongst your other guests.
Regarding your other guests, your college friends or high school friends or your partner’s will love seating together. It is also okay not to sit them together as well, but make sure every guest knows at least one or two people in their table. Don’t sit a friend who is single in a table filled with couples since this might be a little bit awkward for them.
Having a kids’ table is a good idea if your wedding will have a lot of children, but not necessarily good if there will only be a few kids there. When choosing who will sit here, don’t be tempted to sit young adults there, since they might feel uncomfortable surrounded by children and they might enjoy sitting with adults more. In addition, some parents will feel more comfortable when seating with their children. If you are not sure, you might want to talk with them first to make sure everyone will feel content.
There are several ways in which you can make sure your guests seat on their specific place. You might want to consider numbering your tables or having place cards. Other options are to display in the entrance, a seating chart or list in alphabetical order for them to find or to make escort cards available. These lists can have the individual seat they will be seating on or just the table number. Guests shouldn’t alter the seating arrangements that day, but remember that it is okay for them to go and talk with people they know in a different table. Therefore, you shouldn’t stress about it.
Figuring out who sits where can be very stressful and not as fun as choosing what flowers you want or telling your best friend she will be your maid of honor, but it is something that will make sure everything flows smoothly on your wedding day. Consider asking your partner or your friends and family for help. They will really enjoy participating and helping you. Apart from this, know that deciding who sits where will be a changing process. If you change a few people around, you might have to change the whole seating arrangement. Therefore, be patient and start with enough time. We wish you good luck and happy planning!