Now that you have planned a beautiful reception that everyone will enjoy as they help you celebrate the happiest time of your life, the next step is to make the seating arrangements. You should seat everyone correctly so that you do not violate seating plan etiquette by seating someone where they are not supposed to be. Planning seating can be quite a task if you are planning a big wedding. Of course this is not true of small weddings. If your guest list is indeed large, you may want to buy some computer software that will help you arrange and rearrange your seating chart without too much of a problem. Using post-it notes will work well for small wedding but is quite inconvenient if the reception will be large.
Begin with the head table, which is the easiest. The head table is long and straight and is placed in at the front of the reception space. It is obviously arranged so that it is facing the wedding guests. The bride and groom take their seats at the center of the table. Wedding etiquette allows for flexibility when it comes to if the bride should be seated on the right hand side or the left hand side.
The bride’s parents are seated next to the bride and they can sit in any order. If parents are remarried, this will be a complication. You may want to have them sit at a different table and have your bridal attendants sit in their place. The bride’s maid of honor should be seated after her parents. These tips go for the groom’s parents as well if there has been a remarriage and the former spouses cannot get along.
Another easy table is the kids table. Older children do not have to sit with their parents. They will even feel important. There should be no problems if they know they will be seated with other children. They will enjoy it! Seating plan etiquette lets this table be placed where adults will not want to be seated. Seating children near speakers would be just perfect.
After you have planned out the seating for the head table and kids table, seating plans get a little more difficult and complicated. It is best to attempt to keep people that know each other together at the same table if that is possible. Co-workers will probably feel more comfortable sitting with each other if they do not know your family well. Seating plan etiquette suggests that you should try to keep people of similar age groups together if you need to seat them with people that they may not know. Another good tip is to try to balance the number of males and females at a table. Try to keep the numbers even.
You should consider particular circumstances when you are seating certain guests. Senior citizens, small children and women who are pregnant may need to be placed near the restrooms. If any of your guests have a disability, keep this in mind as well. Those giving a toast should be placed near the front of the room while exes should be kept as far away from each other as possible if they don’t get along with each other.
It is a good idea to have a seating chart near the entrance of the reception hall so that your guests can find their seats. You might want to use a map of numbered tables so that it is easier for them to know where they should sit. Every table in your reception hall should have a number placed in the center. Place cards should be put at each seat and legible if you have assigned seats. Seating plan etiquette lets you just assign a table if that is what you prefer.
With a few seating plan etiquette tips you will hopefully be able to plan the best seating plan for your wedding.