One of the most difficult parts of planning a wedding is deciding who sits next to whom. Think I’m joking? Try getting it wrong.
It boils down to over two hours for a couple of agonised guests who try hard not to spoil the moment for the wedding couple whilst they squirm at the same table with their – ex-husband / ex-girlfriend of current boyfriend / estranged relative / least favourite aunt.
Possibly the easiest table to decide upon the seating arrangement for is the top or head table, if you have one at all. This is where the bridal party sit – the bridesmaids, best men and possibly parents.
Or you could do as we did, which is to do away with a ‘head’ table completely (we didn’t have any bridesmaids and best men, which made it easier) and sit a course at the tables that hold your respective parents.
Deciding where each of your guests is going to sit is a little more challenging, but begin with family tables and decide whether or not to place families, siblings and relatives together or not. Sometimes it is easier all round if they’re split up. For other families this may be the first time in a long time that they’re together, so putting them all at one table is a wonderful chance for them to ‘catch up’.
Friends and other guests need to be assigned to tables. You could try simply sending them to a designated table but allow them to decide upon the seating themselves. Sometimes the rigidity of designated seats can mean a forced formality that you don’t necessarily want at your wedding.
Oh, and it’s a good idea to tag on an extra table for those who didn’t reply, but pitch anyway.
Some of the do’s and don’ts you may (or may not) want to note:
- Usually the ‘head’ table includes the bridal party
- If you use long tables, it is customary to seat couples opposite one another
- Try to add others to family tables so that they’re not stuck at their customary ‘dinner’ tables
- Put people together you know are comfortable with one another
- If you can’t, try to group those who have similar interests
- Seat singles together without making it too obvious
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Happy Wedding Planning!