How to Plan Wedding Seating
Be sure to create a fun atmosphere, but take into account family histories too
By Danita Fausek
Making sure that your guests are comfortable with the wedding reception seating and who is sitting at their table is one of the biggest stresses in any couple's planning. Creating a seating plan that takes into account any infirmities, rivalries, family feuds and the personalities of the guests takes concentrated effort and planning. After all, you don't want to put Aunt Masie next to Uncle Edward if they've been fighting for 30 years. A festive and, above all, peaceful atmosphere is what you are striving for.
- What You Need to Know
- First, you'll need to finalize your list of guests. Decide whether you want this to be an opportunity for the two sides of the families to get to know each other. Or you can use it as an opportunity for distant relatives who don't see each other frequently to get better acquainted.
- You'll need a large blank wall or a large piece of paper and some Post-it Notes.
Compile a list of the guests who will attend the reception. Make a note of each name and whether each is bringing a guest. These people will need to be seated with the originally invited person.
Find a large blank wall. If one is not available, tape a large piece of blank paper or card stock to a door, wall or other area that will allow you to work on your seating chart.
Write each person's name on a Post-it Note. Include the name of the family member or invited guest on each sheet for cross-reference. Place the Post-it Notes to the side of the blank area you have prepared. Include the bridesmaids, groomsmen and the bride and groom on your Post-it Notes.
Cut round circles out of paper and number them. Tape them on to the blank area you have prepared (these represent the tables). Using the design received from the venue, place them in approximately the arrangement you are considering, leaving enough space around the circles to place the Post-it Notes. Create a special "table" to use as the head table for the wedding party. The seating at this table can be done either in pairs (bridesmaid pared with groomsmen) or separately (bridesmaids on one side, groomsmen on the other).
Invite both the bride and groom's mothers to assist with the seating arrangement. They will know the family "secrets" and should be able to provide insight into personalities. Have the mothers sit in front of the seating diagram you have prepared. Read each name aloud and ask for suggestions as to placement. After all the guests have been placed on the diagram, ask the moms to review the seating and suggest any changes.
Add the table number assigned to each guest to the compiled guest list after a consensus has been reached. After all the R.S.V.P.s have been received you'll need to approve a final seating chart. Once you've done that, create placecards and give the final room design to the venue manager or your wedding planner.
About the Author
For more than 15 years, Danita Fausek ran her own business doing weddings and event planning.
Browse By Top DexKnows Cities
- St Paul
A wedding website is a useful tool for sharing information about your wedding day with guests, friends and family.... Read More
Have you always envisioned a sun-drenched day of lazing on the beach for your honeymoon? Or perhaps a cabin hidden in the woods is more your style? Sit down with your fiancÚ and figure out what type of honeymoon you'd like, then hop on the Internet and determine the details.
View your wedding checklist!
A venue staff member who serves as the contact person and coordinator for events, a role that is less extensive than a wedding planner.View the Full Weddings Glossary