Should I Have a Formal Seating Plan?
You may think that developing a formal seating chart is unnecessary and your guests will be able to figure out where to sit. However, while it’s possible to not have a seating chart, it can potentially cause issues with guests. If you’ve been to a wedding without a seating chart, you understand why having one is a good idea.
Take the time to plan a seating chart to reduce your guest’s anxiety about finding a seat, whether it’s because of family dynamics, not knowing if some tables should be reserved for VIPs, or not wanting to exclude anyone in a group.
On the other hand, if you’re hosting 50 guests or fewer, you may not need a detailed plan if you don’t want one. You could use place cards to identify the head tables, which would include you two and your wedding party. The remaining guests seat themselves.
In the end, we always recommend having a seating chart, so your guests don’t make any mishaps, and they will appreciate knowing that you thought of them and where to seat them.
How to Plan a Seating Chart
Seating charts are usually displayed alphabetically or by tables in a lovely frame near the reception entry. List your guests’ names along with their assigned tables. If desired, place cards can be utilized at each table to denote assigned seats. At a wedding reception, guests should never change seating arrangements or move assigned seats, but it is completely appropriate to mingle at various tables after supper.
Wedding Party Table
The newlyweds may sit at a long rectangular head table or round table in the center of the room or their sweetheart table. Some couples will not sit at a table but instead leave a few chairs empty at each table so they can mingle during the reception. Whichever option you choose, the bridal party table is usually distinguished from the other by some form of decor, such as flowers.
The groom traditionally sits to the bride's right and the best man on her left. The maid of honor sits to the right of the groom. Depending on the size of the table, the other guests may also be seated near the couple. If you can only fit the best man and maid of honor, as well as their dates, do so. Seat the remaining attendees and their guests at a different table.
The couple's parents frequently sit opposite each other at a huge family table, along with grandparents, the officiant, and other close friends. Another alternative is for the parents to host their tables of relatives and close friends. In the case of divorced parents, each parent can host his or her table, easing any discomfort.
Should you seat your guests among their friends or with someone they’ve never met? While it may appear to be a good idea to mix in a few new faces at each table, keep in mind that individuals are most comfortable when they know some of their dinner companions.
Even your most outgoing friends will not want to sit at a table with strangers, so group acquaintances together whenever possible. If you have guests who don’t know anyone, place them with people who have common interests. If you have a large group of friends who can’t fit at one table, divide them and fill in the gaps with more guests.
Seat your guest’s children at a separate kid’s table if you have a large number of them at your wedding. If not, seat your flower girl and ring bearer alongside their parents, if they are the only children there.
It’s a good idea to have the floor plan and prepare copies before developing your seating chart. You can experiment with various configurations before making your decision.
Remember, no matter how flawless your final seating plan appears, you’ll almost certainly receive at least one last-minute phone call to RSVP for guests who will end up switching seats throughout the night. Try to be flexible, but don’t let it worry and stress you out.
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