Wedding Planning takes a lot of time and energy. Depending on who you ask, creating the seating chart for the reception can be one of the more, eh, tense parts of planning. After all, how do you deal with those two feuding uncles? Or the friend from out of town who doesn’t really know anyone? Arranging your friends and family at the reception can be time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. We’ll start by identifying specific tables, then go through a list of seating tips. We want to help you create a chart that makes everyone happy. Or most people, at least. You know it is.
1. The Bridal Table
This is the table for the wedding party. Generally, this table is set apart from the rest, at the focal point of the room. There are different ways to assign the seating here, but the classic setup has the groom on the bride’s right side. The best man sits on the bride’s left, and the maid of honor on the groom’s right. However, your chart for this table will depend on your table size and shape.
2. The Family Tables
Parents of the couple, as well as grandparents or other close family members, will often sit with the officiant. You may require two tables, depending on size and the number of family members included. But these tables shouldn’t be too difficult to assemble. If there are divorced parents involved, you could simply have two tables., each parent joined by the family members that make the most sense.
3. All the Rest
This is where things can get tricky. The bridal and family tables don’t really require much thought for preparation. But seating extended family, friends, and coworkers who can be a bit more difficult. That said, here are some handy tips to save you from unneeded stress.
- Get Help. If you are inviting some of your parents’ friends and have no clue how to seat them, ask your folks. Same goes for extended family that you don’t know very well. Giving your parents some input will be exciting for them, and will help ensure that those guests you don’t know will be seated strategically.
- Put Friends Together. People will be most comfortable if they know at least some of the people they are seated with. It’s worth trying to place friends together. If you don’t have enough for every person in a friend group to sit at the same table, split the group down the middle. Just don’t leave one person stranded with a bunch of people they don’t know!
- Think of Common Interests. There is a chance that you will have some guests who don’t really know anyone else at the wedding. If this is the case, you’ll want to think of other people who may have similar interests or backgrounds. Natural talking points will help take some of the edge off.
- Think About Singles. Weddings can be hard for single people. Placing one single person at a table full of couples probably isn’t the best idea. At the same time, a ‘singles table’ might be a bit too obvious. A good mix of singles and couples at a table can help keep things from feeling too awkward.
- Avoid Conflict. If great uncle Charlie and great aunt Bess haven’t spoken in years they probably won’t want to sit across from each other. Guests yelling and kicking each other under the table is to be avoided. This is another reason to talk to your parents: they can tell you if there are any family conflicts to keep in mind.
- Don’t Sweat It. Easier said than done, of course. But this is your wedding, and everyone present will be there for you and your spouse. If someone ends up sitting with a person they don’t know and don’t connect with, well, that’s just too bad. You tried. But for the most part, people are gracious and understanding. If you try accommodating you have done your part. Don’t stress too much about this.
Seating guests at your reception shouldn’t be a big stressor for you. Do your best to think things through, but remember- this is your wedding, and everyone present should be there to support you. This list will help you decide who sits where, but remember the most important seats: yours and your spouse’s, side by side.