With the dynamics of families, and friends being what they are, and with the need to make the day as enjoyable as possible for all, the seating plan for your wedding reception / wedding meal is something that couples tend to spend a good deal of time on. Here are some tips to help make the seating planning process that bit easier:
- Make a rough floor plan of the reception area, and work from the head table(s) and dance floor position outwards. Close family, and close friends will want to be nearest to you.
- If you don’t want to go for one long table at the front, you could opt for a ‘sweetheart table’ (a small table just for the bride and groom), and then place close family tables in close proximity. Keep these special tables close to yours, close to the dancefloor, and make sure they have a good view of all the action.
- With parents, tell them how many seats are available at their table (if they’re not at the top table) and let them decide who sits at their table. Make sure the other closest family members / friends to them are on tables close by, so that they can easily talk and mingle.
- For situations where there are e.g. divorced and remarried parents, and where there may be the possibility of some tension, simply add extra VIP and head tables.
- If there are step families, it is often a good idea to let parents decide which step-siblings sit with them, and when seating step-siblings with other relatives, make sure it is with cousins / friends / people they already know and like.
- Group the other guests by category, and work from there e.g. your childhood friends, your partner’s childhood friends, cousins, etc.
- Rather than putting all ‘singles’ together, arrange tables so that there are a combination of friends, couples, and singles. This should make everyone feel more comfortable.
- If you have a DJ or a band, put your younger guests closer to the music. Older guests are unlikely to enjoy too much volume, and may be more likely to prefer to stay at their tables and talk.