Amongst the tricky tasks of wedding planning comes the bitter sweet table seating chart which needs to be assembled once all your RSVP’s have come through. There are many approaches one can take when setting out into these unchartered waters. Do you mix up two different families in the hopes that bonding will abound or mix young people with the older folk?
How do singles and couples fair at the same table? How far would you go to maximise mingling at your wedding? There are a few approaches one can take when hashing out the seating arrangement. I would love to know how you went about planning your seating charts, but here are some positives and pitfalls I think accompany each approach…
Be totally predictable and place everyone in their ‘rightful’ positions.
This is the seating plan that the guests themselves could have come up with. Your aunts and uncles will be seated at the table they always find themselves at all family weddings. No doubt, many enjoy the comfort of knowing their table neighbours well and won’t have to make unnecessary effort to make small talk with people they’ve never met.
Their only chance to mingle will be during photos and on the dance floor. The up side is that humans love what they know and will have a ball of a time in these settings.
Mix it up.
This came at the suggestion of my mother who claims it worked well at a wedding she attended. My Dad and her didn’t really know anyone at their table, but had a great time meeting new people and chatting to non-usual suspects. I think she freely suggested this knowing that her place at our wedding is secured at the main table where she is safe from awkward silences.
This has the potential to work really well. Here you depart slightly from what’s expected and place different groups of friends together and family who have met but don’t hang out often. This forces guests out of their comfort zones and clears the pathway for any future family events when you hope that your family at least recognise and know who’s who in the other family.
Go wild and place guests according to your mood and curiosity.
This is by far the most risky option placing whoever you feel like it at the same table and only keeping couples together. Whilst you may giggle at the thought of his wild, single friends at the same table as your Aunt Mildred, this is really not wise in the interests of all parties concerned especially you.
Whilst this kind of social experiment may intrigue you, it is sure to result in disgruntled guests who depart early or others drinking too much to enhance their personalities. Unless Aunt Mildred surprises and insists they make her feel young again.
Read more from Lauren as she plans her wedding in our Bride to Be section.
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Happy Wedding Planning!