Your wedding reception seating arrangement is one of the final things listed on Your Wedding To Do Check List, that is because if you are having a year or so to plan your wedding, it is towards the end of your wedding planning that you will have an accurate headcount of all the guests that will actually be attending.
Rule of thumb is that at about 4 to 8 weeks prior to your wedding day, you should know who is going and who isn’t. See Your Wedding To Do Check List for wedding planning instructions and a free downloadable wedding planning check list.
Sometimes last minutes changes must be made, it happens, but try your best to not wait until the last minute to have your seating arrangement all figured out. Whether you are having 30 guests or 300, it’s always best for everyone to know where it is that they are expected to be seated.
So, go ahead and grab you list of RSVP’s and let’s get to it.
What we are going to do now is create a list categorizing your guests by relationships, this will help you with making the decisions as to who seats where. Before you start figuring out the seating arrangements though, it is imperative to first know just how many people you can comfortably fit per table.
Your Category list:
Your Parents His Parents
Your Family His Family
Your Friends His friends
Your Family’s friends His Family’s friends, etc.
The Head Table:
The first table to mostly be concerned about is the head table. There are a few ways to go about the seating arrangement of this particular table and that will basically depend on the preference of the bride and groom. However, before we talk about the seating arrangement for the head table, let’s for a moment talk about the table itself. The head table should always be the long type and should be placed in the center of the room, preferably on risers, facing all of your guests.
The bride and groom will seat at the very center of the table for everyone to see. The bride always seats to the left of the groom. So, let’s pretend, imagine or visualize that you are facing the table, groom and bride already seating, in this case you will see the groom to your left and the bride to your right.
Now here comes a couple of different options that couples usually choose from as far as seating the wedding party is concerned.
Groom to the right of the bride, bride to the left of the groom. The best man gets seated next to bride and the maid of honor next to the groom, from there on it’s male, female all the way out.
Groom’s man – Bride’s maid- Best Man – Bride | Groom – Maid of Honor – groom’s man – Bride’s maid, etc.
Some couples choose to honor their parents by seating them at the head table with them.
That being the case, there are really no rules, just keep in mind that there is a lot to take into consideration when seating parents, such as where to seat step parents, etc.
Note that the head table could also be two tiered in order to accommodate parents and the bridal party. Bride and groom can sit with their parents at the head table while the bridal party seat at their own table.
Note, the flower girl and the ring bearer always seat with their parents.
You could also arrange several tables just for the bride’s and groom’s parents, step parents and grandparents. When considering all of your guest’s seating arrangements, keep in mind who gets along with who and who doesn’t. Making sure to keep those who do not get along as far away from each other as possible.
Always consider age and relationships when seating your guests. Try to seat people who get along with each other and with those who they they are bound to have more things in common. This will allow a smooth event, will promote pleasant conversations and a way for everyone to have a great time.
Please keep in mind that these are traditional ways of doing things, but not precisely how it has to be done. We live in a diverse world where the possibilities could be endless, all depending on many factors, such as different religious believes, cultural backgrounds, sexual preferences and taste.
Tip: If having over 50 guests, assigning a couple of ushers is a great idea, a couple of the groom’s men will d0. a good rule of thumb is usually an usher per every 50 guests.
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