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Wedding Seating Plans
Unless you're having a buffet or stand up reception, you'll need to create a seating plan so guests know where they should sit and caterers know who they are serving.
Wedding seating plans are probably one of the hardest things to organise as you need to consider who will get on with whom or more importantly who won't.
Seating plan considerations:
Whether people get on
When planning your seating, consider if your guests will get on with one another
The wedding breakfast and speeches usually last between 2-3 hours so you want to ensure that your guests get on without awkward silences. Try and group your guests according to factors such as likes/dislikes, hobbies, careers, type of person or sense of humour. Your seating arrangements will never be perfect - but as long as you've put careful thought into it - the majority of your guests will have a whale of a time. Don't worry too much - after a few glasses of wine, most people find something to talk about.
In every wedding, there will always be at least one problem person. Known conflicts amongst friends, ex-couples or families should be one of your first considerations when working out who you need to keep apart. Consider potential conflicts such as opinionated people, people with strong political or religious views and sports fans.
Mixing people up
Putting groups of family or friends on a table together is the easiest way of arranging your seating plan. Mixing family and friends are a great way of getting your guests to mingle but require a bit more thought and consideration. The following tips should help.
- Don't split couples up
- You should try to keep close family near the top table. So avoid seating them with loud friends or babies.
- Confident, chatty guests sat at opposite ends of a table will bring the rest of the table into a conversation. Put them together in the middle and you'll find the rest of the table will look bored.
- Try to mix up the sexes - boy, girl, boy, girl.
- Try to seat children together on a table with their parents - this prevents them from running around to see other children during the meal. Seat children and babies on tables towards the edge of the room to prevent any distractions to your other guests.
wedding table layout
There are three main types of wedding reception table layout at wedding venues - banquet (circular), rectangle or long tables. The type of table will depend on your choice of venue.
- Banquet tables (typically seating 8-10) are the most sociable wedding reception table layout. Most conversations are held as a group as guests can speak to one another across the table as easily as they can to one another - providing you don't have any tall flower displays in the middle!
- Rectangle tables (typically seating 6-8) will encourage guests to mix as they will automatically be drawn into conversation with people sitting opposite them. If you want to encourage your guests to talk to one another - put couple's next to each other opposite another couple. Rectangular tables are small enough for everyone to be involved in the same conversation.
- Long tables can seat any number of people. This layout tends to be the least sociable and provides greater risk of someone being excluded from a conversation. Whilst people will automatically talk to the person opposite - there is a risk that the people either side of them could be involved in conversations further up the table so they only have each other to speak to. Worse still - guests can be left with no one to speak to if the people next to them are in conversation with guests further up the table. To increase the chance of mixing seat one couple opposite another couple.