As your big day approaches, the preparation and attention to detail intensifies! Similar to the other special components of your wedding, time should be dedicated to creating the best seating arrangements for your wedding reception as possible. Below we’ve compiled our top 10 do’s and don’ts for table seating.
Start your seating chart as soon as possible. It’s much easier to edit a physical or digital seating chart as R.S.V.Ps are received, rather than struggling to fit plus ones at the last minute.
Know your table shape(s). Depending on the dimensions of your wedding venue, the shape and size of your tables will determine how many guests can be seated at one table.
Ask for help with guests you’re not as familiar with. It is likely that your in-laws or your parent’s friends will be invited but you’re unsure of who to seat them with. This is a great opportunity to involve your parents or in-laws in the planning process, whom we’re sure would be happy to help.
Make sure you have the best view. You won’t want to spend the evening craning your neck to see the heartfelt speeches being given in your honor, or the amazing dance moves on the dance floor. Be strategic in where the sweetheart table or bridal party table is located.
Consider making a kid’s table. A table with coloring books or activities will keep the children distracted. Also strategically placing the kid’s table near their parents will aid in ensuring they are under proper adult supervision.
Don’t leave seating as a free-for-all. Some special events catering and wedding venues in South Florida require a seating chart for guests so that capacities and plated dinners can be organized accordingly. Assigning tables instead of assigning seats may be a less stressful and more efficient alternative as well.
Don’t make seating difficult to find. A seating chart font that is difficult to read will have guests staring at the display for much longer than necessary. Escort cards, name cards on tables, or an alphabetical seating chart are a few methods of organizing guest seating.
Don’t ignore your guests’ history with each other. Preemptively reduce tension between relatives or acquaintances by not seating them near one another and forcing uncomfortable social interactions.
Don’t isolate guests. Putting your single cousin at a table of couples may cause them to feel isolated. Try to seat guests with those who have similar interests, careers, or sides of the family so that they’ll be comfortable holding a conversation with the others at the table.
Don’t forget to account for guests with special accommodations. Guests with wheelchairs will benefit from seating along the sides of the reception for easy entrance and exit access. Similarly, consider seating guests hard of hearing closer to a speaker.
At Bill Hansen Catering, we gladly offer full-service event planning packages that allow us to walk you through table seating best practices and develop floor plan designs. We wish you the best of luck in planning your special day!
Table setting photo by Air Studios Inc
Seating chart assignment photo by Kati Rosado