Designing The Perfect Seating Plan For Your Wedding

Dim lit wedding venue

Keeping Your Guests Happy At The Reception

Couples can spend hours perfecting their reception seating plan – take a few shortcuts with these top tips!

A wedding reception meal lasts for at least a couple of hours and forms a significant part of your day. As the bride and groom, you’ll want your wedding guests to have a fantastic time, mingling and getting to know one another as well as you know them. With that in mind, couples can feel a certain sense of dread when it comes to creating their seating plans – not least because most of us have an awkward, cranky aunt who doesn’t want to sit next to anyone at all, or else perhaps divorced parents who haven’t seen each other in 15 years. Creating a seating plan can be a minefield, but these top tips can help steer you in the right direction towards a joyous wedding reception.

The Traditional Top Table

Some couples love wedding traditions, others see them as being old-fashioned and not in keeping with the general vibe of their own celebrations. But in case you’re struggling with ideas for the top table, then the traditional layout is for the bride and groom to be seated in the middle, flanked by the brides parents, then the grooms parents, with the best man and chief bridesmaid sat on each end – everyone is sat in a line facing out towards the rest of the reception celebrations. The problem with this approach is that is doesn’t appear very sociable and can look a little stiff. It’s becoming more common now for couples to host a round or rectangular table of friends and family members, allowing them a little more opportunity to mingle with their nearest and dearest.

The Layout of the Room

Once you’ve made a decision about the top table, it’s time to worry about everyone else. The first thing to do is to create an accurate layout of the venue’s floor plan. As well as working out where to position your top table, you’ll also need to factor in windows, doorways, the kitchen entrance and other features such as a stage or area for your DJ or band.

Arranging Your Guests

Look at the balance of guests who you’ll be welcoming to your wedding venue in Essex – are they single or in a couple? You might be tempted to matchmake, but it’s best not to have an entire table full of single people as this can be upsetting for some. Equally though, a single person shouldn’t be placed on a table filled entirely with couples.

When it comes to couples, it may be tempting to seat them apart to encourage them to mingle more, but lots of couples like the comfort of being with their partner particularly if they’ve travelled a distance to your wedding and don’t know anyone else there. Always try to keep the feelings of your guests in your mind – you’ll know if they’re on the vivacious side and are happy to talk to anyone, or alternatively if they’re a bit of a wallflower who finds social settings awkward until the wine starts to flow.

Names Not Numbers

Remember also that table names related to your wedding theme tend to be received better than numbers. Not only are table names a talking point, but there’s more chance of your guests being miffed if they find themselves sat at table number 19, when they thought they’d be sat at table number 2.

Finally, if you’re finding it fiddly to make your seating plan, then there are online resources available which help you to make revisions and adjust the layout easily without losing any of your hard work.