Congratulations on your engagement and welcome to the world of wedding planning! Now that you’ve invited all your guests and you know who’s coming, it’s time to plan your wedding seating. How on earth do you decide where your guests will sit at your wedding? The last thing you want is to seat guests with people they don’t know, or to have an awkward situation where guests with history are accidentally seated very close to one another. These scenarios are all easily avoidable by following our easy steps! Today we’re going to walk you through a simple way to choose where your guests will sit. We’re simplifying wedding seating for you!
1. Who’s coming?
Before you begin working out your wedding seating, you’ve got to know who’s attending. Make sure your wedding guest list is up to date before you begin.
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2. Consider your table shapes
The size and shape of your table will determine how many people can sit around it. You can fit more people around a rectangle or square table and it’s easier for them to talk to one another. Round tables, on the other hand, are more traditional and offer more legroom. Consider what you’d like, what your venue has available and how the tables could fit together in the room.
3. Think about who you want close to you
A main table for you and your wedding party (and their plus ones if there’s room) is a lovely way to acknowledge their role and keep your besties close to you throughout the day. Lots of couples also like to have their parents seated at the head table (if your parents are divorced and you’d like them here, seat them on opposite sides). Another option is to have your wedding party seated amongst your guests, with other people they know.
4. Arrange guests by groups
It’s always a fab idea to seat guests according to who they know. Start by making a list of the different groups (school friends, work friends, friends of parents, etc). You certainly don’t need to put everyone in the groups they belong to, but we highly recommend seating everybody with one or two people they know and get along with.
5. Ditch the singles table
On behalf of all single guests everywhere, please stop creating a singles table. If you’re secretly wanting to hook your cousin up with one of your work colleagues, be more discreet! While we’re at it, don’t seat your single friend at a table full of couples. Find a way to creatively include everybody in the seating plan without embarrassing them.
6. Where to seat the kids
If you are inviting children to your wedding, consider a kids table. This is a fantastic space for them to sit together, enjoy kids activity packs and allow their parents to chat. Don’t put your kids table too far away from their parents (both the parents and kids would prefer being relatively close). If you are only inviting a couple of children, rather seat them with their parents.
7. Consider the venue layout
You want to give your VIP guests the best seats in the house! So think about the venue layout as a whole. We recommend seating older guests further away from the DJ table and speakers. Visually impaired guests will need to be closer to the speeches. You may want to put your younger guests who love dancing closer to the dance floor! Are there any guests in wheelchairs who will need easy access to exits. Consider all of these factors when looking at your venue layout.
8. Map out a seating chart
Create a seating chart template (a digital option works well, but don’t be afraid to start with something hand drawn). Draw your table arrangements first, then use sticky notes to put individuals onto the plan. If you aren’t assigning seats, consider assigning tables instead. This way, guests can choose who they sit next to, but you can choose which tables they’re all at.
9. Get a table plan
Once you’ve worked out where everybody will sit, it’s important to communicate this to everybody who needs to know. A digital seating chart is helpful for your venue, caterer and wedding planner. Then, get a beautiful table plan to display at your wedding so your guests know where they’re sitting!