Creating your wedding reception hall seating chart can be a dizzying, stressful task. You want to be sure your guests are seated with people they know, to ensure they’ll have an enjoyable time during your celebration. Here are the top tips for taking the stress out of designing your seating chart:
· Mix up table sizes and shapes. There’s no rule saying you have to have all round tables identical in size. Today’s wedding reception room layout features some round tables, some lengthier rectangular tables, larger rounds and more options to allow you easier seating of natural groups.
- Allow more elbow room. Seat 8 guests at a table that is marked as seating 10, or 10 guests at a table for 12 to allow for roomier spacing and more enjoyable eating.
- Assess the His Side vs. Her Side divide. Again, there’s no rule saying the groom’s guests need to sit on one side of the room, the bride’s side on the other, with the dance floor in between. Many wedding guest lists aren’t even splits between the bride’s and groom’s guests, so feel free to seat guests according to their likely reception style and needs instead.
- Seat younger guests who are likely to dance closer to the dance floor. When a song they love begins, they won’t need to race past dozens of other guest tables to get to the dance floor.
- Seat children with their parents. Children tend to be better behaved when their parents are right next to them, cutting their food, keeping them entertained.
- Seat groups of friends in one sector. Those 8-seater, 10-seater or longer tables allow you to arrange for all of your friends to sit near one another for easier mingling and table-hopping during the post-dinner hours.
- Seat older guests far from the speakers. Older generation guests should never be seated right next to the bank of speakers, since loud noises are often annoying to them. Older guests say they enjoy being seated at a place that allows them easier access, and a shorter walk, to the restrooms.
- Seat guests with babies far from the speakers. Extremely young children brought to the wedding need to be protected from loud noises, so seat them far from the thumping bass and high volume of the party music.
- Seat warring guests far apart. If one cousin owes the other cousin money or has a long-standing beef, make it a priority to seat these people as many tables apart as possible.
- Seat divorced parents at their own tables. Provide comfort and calm for parents who are divorcing or recently divorced by giving them their own parents’ tables in your reception venue. If a parent is bringing a date, which might hurt the other parent, seat them in front-view areas but not at tables directly next to one another.
- Seat bridal party members with their own groups of friends or relatives. They don’t have to sit at a large main table with you. Bridal party members will wish to sit with their spouses or dates, or with their children.
- Give yourself plenty of tries. Use a free seating chart tool on a wedding website or wedding registry website to make adding and moving guests easier with the click of a mouse, or use sticky notepad sheets marked with each guest’s name on your master table layout provided by the reception hall to move guests into different positions until you find the perfect seating chart arrangements for all.
Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Chateau