A Simple Guide to Reception Seating Etiquette

Of all the details you need to home in on when planning a wedding, working out where everyone should sit during the reception is arguably the most deceptively difficult to get right.

To take the sting out of this process, follow these tips and you’ll ensure your guests all have a great time while celebrating your special day together.

Groom’s Side, Bride’s Side: Designating Seats for the Bridal Party

When it comes to seating arrangements at your wedding reception, there are certain protocols you can choose to follow. One of those is designating seats according to the bridal party – groom’s side and bride’s side.

Traditionally, guests would be seated on tables set either side of a designated aisle that runs down the middle of the room. This includes assigning seats for each member of both sides of the core group of guests – groomsmen & bridesmaids, plus their dates or spouses if applicable.

Of course you don’t need to be quite so prescriptive if you’re aiming for a vibe that’s more about mixing and mingling the two sides of your newly joined family together, and some traditions do disappear over time. However, it’s sometimes simply more practical to stick to the standard ways of doing things, at least for this select subset of guests.

Making Sure Your VIPs Feel Special: Where to Seat Immediate Family and Close Friends

Your wedding day is a special event that should be enjoyed by everyone in attendance, especially your closest family members and friends.

To make sure the most important people in your life feel extra special on your big day, it’s best to assign them seats of honor at the reception. This means reserving tables for them closest to you or near the head table where they can witness all aspects of your reception, such as the speeches, with ease & comfort.

When selecting seating options for immediate family members such as parents & grandparents, consider their age and mobility needs so they are comfortable throughout the entire evening.

Similarly, when deciding placement for close friends try to group them together if possible so they can enjoy each other’s company while still being able to view everything happening around them.

Letting Dates & Spouses Shine Bright: The Right Place for Plus-Ones

Most couples invite their wedding party members to bring dates or spouses to the reception. To make sure these special guests feel welcomed and included, it’s important that you plan ahead in terms of seating arrangements. With the fast-paced nature of the dating scene today, as attested to by DatingNews.com, being progressive and forward-thinking in this aspect of your wedding planning is wise.

If possible, assign plus ones to seats at a table near family and friends so they can mingle with familiar faces throughout the evening. You should also consider placing them close enough to where your bridal party is sitting so everyone feels connected, yet still has space for conversation without interruption from other tables nearby.

When assigning tables for plus-ones, be sure not to forget about any potential dietary restrictions as well – this will help ensure all guests are comfortable during dinner service.

Dancing Partners Unite! Strategically Placing Couples at Reception Tables

Your wedding reception should be a time for celebration and fun. To ensure your guests are able to enjoy the party, consider strategically placing couples at tables near the dance floor so they can easily take part in all festivities throughout the night.

This will also give them an opportunity to get up and dance with each other without having to worry about finding someone else on another table, or making special requests of family members. These small tweaks to a seating plan can make a big difference to the overall experience.

On the flip-side, you might want to think about placing older and less mobile guests on tables where they are not in the immediate vicinity of the dance floor. This will mean that they can still hold conversations and take in the view, without being drowned out by music or bumped into by dancing youngsters.

Avoiding Awkwardness: Being Sensitive to Potentially Problematic Seating Arrangements

Last but not least, remember that while your wedding reception should put you in the spotlight, there are other people in attendance who might bring their own baggage and history to the table, even if they really should have left this at home.

Think carefully about combining people at the same table and ensure that there aren’t going to be any clear clashes of personality, or any awkwardness because of past run-ins.

It’s never nice to think of family and friends not getting along, but if you want a truly harmonious wedding day then you do need to factor this into your seating plan.

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