Wedding Reception Seating: How to Seat Guests for a Lively Celebration
Choosing who sits with whom is no easy task. Let’s look into the planning of wedding reception seating to host a lively and fun celebration.
One of the most difficult moments when we are planning our wedding reception is coming up with the seating chart. These tips will help with the wedding reception seating arrangements, so your guests feel comfortable and enjoy your wedding to the fullest!
Before assigning seats, make sure you have the maximum possible number of RSVPs so last minute RSVPs or guest additions do not interfere with your planning. When creating your wedding seating chart, plan for contingencies. Therefore, the wedding reception seating chart is one of the last things you should plan for your wedding.
Why you should avoid open wedding reception seating plans
Unless you are catering a cocktail wedding, you will want to assign guests to tables. Otherwise, people’s feelings tend to get hurt if they are seated at the “wrong” table. By the same token, as people tend to seat with people they already know they often end up not actively participating in the wedding reception.
Another drawback is that the environment will be excessively polarized: there will be a lively area and quiet one. Younger and noisy guests will sit together, while older and quiet ones will be somewhere else. Thus, when there are many people wanting to party, no one keeps the volume of conversation in check, and it rises and gradually the party becomes quite wild. Conversely, if the most serious people do not sit close to others with little extra pop, the reception will turn into a bore. For a fun and pleasant reception try to balance both these attitudes. Last but not least, people tend to want to know where to go.
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How to seat guests at a wedding reception: the head table
Many couples choose a long rectangular table or a round table as their “presidential” or head table. The bride and groom should face the room and their table usually has some type of special decoration, such as flowers or personalized signs hung on the bride’s and groom’s chairs. This makes them stand out from the other tables.
Traditionally, the bride sits at the groom’s right, with the maid of honor on his left and the best man on the bride’s right. You may sit their “plus ones” at a different table and include both your parents or fit the best man and maid of honor, along with their significant others at your table, then seat remaining attendants and their partners at another table. Everything will depend on how much you want people to share the first meal as husband and wife.
If your wedding is less formal, you can choose to sit with your parents, siblings, some close relatives or even friends.
The head table needs to be placed where it can be seen by the largest possible number of guests. Remember, that you, as the bride and groom are the protagonists of this celebration, and everyone will want to have you close by.
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Wedding reception seating: Some guidelines to help you get started
- Begin by grouping guests according to how you know them: family members, friends and acquaintances.
- Try to seat your closest friends or family at the tables near yours.
- Seat younger guests closer to the speakers and dance floor and older guests a little further away.
- Use your wedding reception seating plan to introduce people with similar interests and backgrounds. Try to introduce them in advance during cocktails, sharing with them the reason you thought they should meet.
- Try to make your guests feel comfortable by offering a mix of familiar and new faces at each table. Not even your most gregarious friends will want to sit at a table full of complete strangers, so put acquaintances together when you can.
- Mix and match lively and serious guests to balance the atmosphere of the wedding. Joy is contagious!
- Avoid seating people together who do not get along. Otherwise, we guarantee conflicts will arise during the reception.
- Resist the urge to designate a “singles” table, because it really does feel like you are “singling” them out.
- If there are guests that do not seem to fit with any group of people, think about what their interests or hobbies are and seat them accordingly.
- If you have several children at your wedding, seat them together at a separate kids’ table. If there are only a couple of kids present, seat them with their parents.
Remember that a stitch in time saves nine! Think carefully on how to seat your guests at the wedding reception, and also consider your table layout. Use common sense – it never fails. Breathe deeply and enjoy your wedding planning! We are sure you will do a marvelous job!
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Photography Credits: The LANE, The Knot, SMP, Hey Wedding Lady, Project Wedding, carolinaherrerabride, – Event/Wedding Planning Katie Sparkman, wedding chicks, Purple Wedding, Mon Cheri Bridals, Green wedding Shoes, weddingwire
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