seating for a wedding reception


As far as the seating arrangement goes, it's best to draw up a floor plan after you have an idea of how many guests will be attending your wedding reception.

Check with the bride and groom's parents to look for any errors. There may be some tensions between people that you are not aware of, and sitting them together can be a problem waiting to happen.

It's hard to plan when you're not certain how many guests will arrive unexpectedly or not show up at all. It's best to have some extra seats available for those you didn't anticipate, such as the band manager, kitchen helpers, or friends that pop in.

the head table

Traditionally, the bridal party sits at a long, rectangular "head table" so all the guests can see. The bride and groom sit in the middle and the attendants fan out on each side. This table is the center of activity and is usually elaborately decorated. Keep the centerpieces unobtrusive and use placards to avoid any confusion or squabbles.

For smaller weddings, you may choose to sit the bride and groom at their own table, and allow the attendants to spread out and sit with their significant others. Another option is to have a large head table and allow spouses be seated there as well.

table of honor

Located near the head table, the table of honor seats your parents, officiant and sometimes the grandparents. For divorced parents, it shouldn't be too difficult to set up two tables of honor to keep everyone happy. Again, use place cards and do not allow tall table centerpieces to block the view.

guest seating arrangement

You can assume that married guests will want to sit by their spouses and children. If you seat most singles together, they're more likely to be comfortable and have fun. Keep in mind where your guests will be seated in correlation to the band or DJ's speakers. Elderly people won't appreciate any loud music or racket, so keep the younger crowd closest to the entertainment.

Often, the seating arrangement for the wedding reception is planned only for the head table and guest of honor tables. The remainder of guests are left to choose where they want to sit. This may be the best way to ensure that everyone has fun.

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today's tip

Don't assume that you know where people wish to sit. It may be easier to ask those closest to you if they have any preferences.