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Best Wedding Seating Arrangement Ideas

Updated on January 24, 2020
linfcor profile image

Online wedding planner for over 10 years. My goal has been to show everyone the best way to plan their wedding without breaking the bank !

Best Ideas For Wedding Seating Arrangements

The seating arrangement for your wedding need not be an ordeal. Remember the idea is to make your guests as comfortable as possible at your reception. While you should do the best you can to accommodate everyone as far as requests are concerned, just do the best you can. So, take a deep breath and let's get started.

Start with the options at the venue where you are having the reception. Ask the wedding venue coordinator what kind of tables are available. You need to know the shapes of the table and what is available.

Pick his/her brain about what kind of table placements that they have done before. Ask if they have pictures of other weddings they have done. Often they will have photos of previous weddings. Take pictures of the room for your planning.

Another option that a lot of folks have used is to assign guests to a specific table, but let them chose their seats, This makes it a lot easier for your planning.

Also request what kind of tablecloths and napkins are available with your wedding package. Many venues have a few choices within their packages. If you want some table linen specific to your theme, they may be available at an additional fee. Also request information on chair covers if you are interested in them. Most of the time, they can be rented again at an additional fee.

If you are planning extra features like a candy buffet, a cookie buffet or any other special addition to your reception make sure that the venue will allow it. Then request what tables will be available and what linen can be used. Also request information on cost of these special features.

Check with your venue coordinator that they have table marker holders. In some cases, they have table markers on hand which makes it one less thing for you to think about.

Make sure to check with your wedding reception venue regarding the types of tables and the number of people each table will sit. Some tables will seat 8 people and some will sit 10. No matter what options you have, you will want your guests to be comfortable.

Start With The Bridal Table

The first consideration that you as a couple need to make is your bridal table. Traditionally, the bride and groom sit in the place of honor facing the other guests. Most couples have the entire wedding party sit at the head table. You would arrange the bride and groom or the bridal couple in the center. The made or matron f honor would sir next to the bride and the best man would sit next to the groom. You could sit your best man or maid of honor on either side. You then can sit the rest of your party either as couples or girls on one side-gentleman on the other.

If you have children in your bridal party like a flower girl or ring bearer, they could be seated at the bridal party, if they are able to dine with adults and feel comfortable about it. Allow them to sit with their parents if they are very young, or if they would rather sit with their family.

If your wedding party is large, you may want to sit them at the tables closest to the bride and groom. You could have the venue place these tables closest to your table. Your best man and maid/matron of honor could sit either with the bride or groom. Or you could sit them with the other members of your bridal party.

Another option that a lot of couples are choosing is the sweetheart table. That is a table for just the bride and groom at the head of the room.

Enlist your parents to help you seat the family members and friends

Sweetheart Table

Instead of a bridal party table, many couples opt for a sweet heart table. That is a smaller table often with just the bride and the groom. But it can also include the best man and maid or matron of honor.

If you are opting for this arrangement, make sure to seat your wedding party as close to you as possible.

The Family Table

The tables closest to the bridal party should be reserved for family and the closest friends.

The family table should include parents, grandparents, and great grandparents and their spouses.

If you have divorced parents or grandparents seat them where you believe they will be most comfortable.If things are tense between these individuals, consider setaing them at two different tables, equally close to the bridal party.

Depending on the size of your family, the next table should be brothers and sisters, their spouses and children ( if you are allowing children to attend)

After that you will want to seat aunts, uncles and cousins.

Making Your Single Guests Comfortable

Omit the singles table. Mix them in with other guests. It is not comfortable for your single guests to be called out by separating them. Mix them in with other guests and they will have a much better time.

Getting It Started - What You Need To Do Your Seating Arrangement

It 's not hard to get your the seating arrangement done. There are just a few things you will need to get it all together

  1. Your Guest List The returns from your wedding invites must be really completed before you tackle arrangements for where everyone will sit
  2. The Floor Plan For Your Wedding ReceptionEither provided by your wedding venue or you draw it. You must know how many tables you will have, how many seats at each table and how they will be laid out.
  3. The Escort or PlacecardsYou can use one for each guest or one per couple
  4. Table Numbers and Holders for themCheck with your caterer or venue coordinator to see if they have them available. If you are into a more finished look for your theme, you can purchase your own

Seating Arrangement Tips

  1. Do assign guests to tables where they know someone, but don't sit guests with only people they know
  2. Don't play matchmaker with your single guests
  3. Consider guests with special mobility issues. Seat them near restrooms and/or near doors
  4. Try not to place elderly guests near music speakers
  5. Avoid sitting people together who have a history of conflict
  6. Sit children near their parents rather than at a separate table
  7. Give your venue a copy of your seating arrangement
  8. Do it in pencil ! You will be making changes
  9. If you have elderly guests, you may want to seat them away from the band or music.
  10. If you have guests that are in wheelchairs, make sure to seat them where they have plenty of room to move and access the area

If meals have been chosen by guests, you can give a chart to the venue with the name of the guest, the meal they have chosen and the table they will be sitting at. Triple check your list to make sure that it is accurate. This will help your servers give the right meal to each guest.

How To Seat Your Guests

As your guests are entering your reception area, you will want them be able to find their seats and tables easily. That way your guests will be comfortable and your reception can get started with little fuss. You will only need one card per couple and an individual card for a single guest.

For married guests, they would be addressed as " Mr. and Mrs.Steven Smith. The less formal version would be, " Steven and Louise Smith"

For an unmarried couple, they would be addressed with both their names. It sjould read, " Linda James and Russell Thomas".

If you are unaware of the name of the guest, the card would read, Andrew Thompson and Guest"

If an entire family is sitting at one table, the card could simply read, " The Simmons Family"

There are several ways for you to make it easy to get your guests seated:

  • Seating Chart- This is an alphabetical chart that directs your guests which table that they will be seated at. It can be done as a simple alphabetical list, or as a table list with names. It is best placed at the door of your reception room on an easel or on a table. This is the best option for larger weddings.
  • Place Cards Outside Of The Reception-You can use place cards arranged alphabetically with the guests name and table number
  • Place Cards Placed On The Tables- This is where seats are marked with a place card. It can be used with the chart outside of the room.

More Reception Seating Ideas

  1. If you are having a calligrapher doing your place cards, make sure to have them include a few extra blanks.That will help in case you need to change seating arrangements at the last minute.
  2. Make sure to use a print style that is easy to read, That will speed up the seating and cause less confusion.
  3. If the guest has made a meal choice, you can have the meal choice placed on the back of their place card. But make sure that they know to hang onto the card to make easier for the server.

Seating Chart Tip

If you are using a seating chart to assist people to find their tables, make sure to list them alphabetically to make it easier for them to find their seat


Free Seating Arrangements And Floor Plans - Online Tools To Make Your Seating Arrangements

These are my favoriite online tools to get the task of your seating arrangements completed

© 2014 Linda F Correa


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