Photo credit: Leanne Pederson Photography
So this is it. Your wedding is just around the corner and it’s time to buckle down and tackle your seating charts! Easy, right? But then you realize, your cousin and sister have been fighting since the 90s, you have one couple coming from out of the country who only knows you and your fiance, your last single girlfriend is sensitive to being seated at the wrong table, and there’s several children of all ages from both sides of your families. Although it may seem daunting, with the right tools and common sense, you can create a seating plan that will make almost everyone happy and pleased at the end of your special day.
TABLES TO CONSIDER
Bridal Table: Your wedding day is all about you two, as the bride and groom, so you may want to sit at a long rectangular head table (traditional headtable or King’s table) or round table at the focal point of the room, or alternatively, at your very own “sweetheart” table. No matter which layout you choose, the bridal table is usually set apart from the others by some type of decoration, such as flowers or even a customized “Mr and Mrs” signs. How cute?! Traditionally, the groom sits to the bride’s right, the best man sits to her left and the maid of honor sits to the groom’s right but since tradition is almost becoming a thing of the past, you can seat in whichever order makes you happy. We are planners that like to throw tradition out the window for things like this and will seat your wedding party as if they were standing up for the ceremony. Example, bridal party on the left and groomsmen on the right. Depending on how large the table is and how big the bridal party is, you can also seat your other bridesmaids and groomsmen at the same table or at another table with their “plus ones”.
Family Tables: Often, parents of the bride and groom sit opposite each other at a large family table, with grandparents, the officiant, and other close friends. You could so have family tables your parents “host” their own tables, consisting of family members and close friends. In the case of divorced parents, each parent may also host his or her own table, smoothly diffusing any awkwardness or discomfort.
Mix or Match: As for the rest of your guests, it is a great idea to mix in a few new faces at each table but remember that people are most comfortable when they already know some familiar faces. If you have guests who don’t know anyone, seat them near guests with similar interests to get some conversations going. If you have a group of friends that cannot fit at one table, the easiest way to deal with this is to split them down the middle, and fill in each table with other guests so no one is left out. Another tip is to resist the urge to host all your “singles” in one table… even though it’s tempting to subtly place your cute cousin with your fiance’s old college roommate. A little sensitivity and some good old common sense are the best guides to mixing and matching seating for your guests. Yay to making new friends!
Kings Table by Life Studios
If you have several children at your wedding, seat them together at a separate kids’ table. A cute suggestion is to provide wedding themed coloring books or small activities at their tables which could help ease the restlessness and keep them occupied throughout the reception.
Photo credit: Kelly Brown Wedding Photography
Putting Your Seating Chart Together
Now that you have an idea of where you want to place your family and friends, putting it all down on paper can be quite the task. For the folks who like to kick it old school, setting out color coded sticky notes (which makes it super fun) can help keep organized with seating placements on paper. For those who are more tech equipped, there are many great online floor plan programs available that can help you make quick changes on the spot.
TALK TO YOUR PLANNER
Talking to your wedding planner can be the ultimate saving grace. Because they do this for a living and have seen it all, they are fully equipped with all the advice and can lend a helping hand if you’re stuck with getting started! We just can’t do it for you but we’ll be there cheering you on 🙂
At the end of the day, your family and friends are all coming together for one common reason, which is to celebrate your love and special day. They love you and are happy to be there, and will hopefully be gracious about whatever table they end up being placed at. So don’t stress out too much and remember to enjoy the planning process!
If you just got engaged, we wish you all the best for your big day and lots of fun planning the wedding! If you feel you need a planner to assist at any point, we’d love to help and have a chat! Contact us today to discuss our planning services.