Wedding dinners are always one of the most fun and memorable parts of a reception. There are the speeches: the burns and the toasts, the embarrassing stories and the tear-inducing memories. There’s the table side conversation with new and old friends. And there’s the knowing that all the real partying is just about to begin.
For this reason, your dinner seating chart will probably take some time and thought. You’ll want to get it right to facilitate a good time for all.
It can feel like a lot of pressure, but don’t stress. We’ve streamlined the steps you should take and the questions you can be asking yourself to nail this part of your wedding planning.
Read on for our seating chart tips and tricks.
Once you know what types of tables you’ll be using (banquets or rounds), and how many guests each table will seat (typically 6-10 guests per table), you can start playing around with different arrangements.
Step One: Consider yourselves.
Do you want a sweetheart table or do you want to sit among friends?
Step Two: Figure out what the second best table in the room is. That one is for the parents. If any of the parents are divorced and you’re worried about unnecessary tensions, consider separate parent tables so each parent can be surrounded by their own friends or relatives. Similarly, you could go with a long banquet table and seat the divorced parents on opposite ends from one another.
Step Three: Arrange your bridal party. In this day and age, it’s most appropriate to allow your bridal party’s spouses and plus-ones to sit with them, even if it means splitting your bridal party among multiple tables.
Some couples even have each member of their bridal party “host” a table which can be a really fun way to bring all your guests into the mix.
Step Four: Cluster everyone else around some shared interest or relative. “College friends” “Cousins” “Aunts and Uncles” are all safe groupings.
Be sure to put elderly guests away from live music or big speakers, and as close to the exit (think restrooms) as possible.
Avoid a singles table. It can be way too uncomfortable. Instead, seat each single guest with someone he or she already knows.