Creating a Wedding Seating Plan
Don’t do too much thinking
Don’t overthink your Wedding Seating Plan. Generally at most weddings, people will only be seated at their designated tables until after their meal. So as long as they have people they like at their table and no one that they can’t stand, chances are, they’ll be happy with your choice. They’ll have plenty of time to catch up with their other friends once the meal is finished.
Assigning guests to tables or seats?
For most weddings, assigning guests to a certain table but not a specific seat at the table is ok. If you do decide to designate seats, escort cards can be used for guests to collect at the door telling each guest which table they are seated at and place cards at the table to show the designated seat. An alternative to escort cards is using a seating chart. This is just like a poster board with a list of peoples names and table numbers/seating arrangements on it. Seating charts have the added benefit of not being able to get lost like escort cards.
The Bridal Table
When it comes to seating the bridal party you have a couple of different choices. Traditionally, the bridal table is a long table at one end of the room looking towards the other tables so the bride and groom can see all of their guests. Another option is to have the bridal table in the middle of the room, allowing the maximum number of tables to be close by which avoids guests feeling like they have been ‘jipped’ by being seated at the other end of the room.
Who should be seated with the bride and groom?
Another idea for the bridal table is that the guests seated with the bride and groom can be the parents of the bridal party. Each wedding is different and if you are close to your parents, having them by your side on your special day might be something that you would like to do. Alternatively, having your bridesmaids and groomsmen by your side at the bridal table could be something you would prefer as these are the people that aren’t always family that have helped make your special day come together.
If you’re having a sit down meal then doing the toasts either after the last table has been to the buffet or after the entree’s have arrived is a good idea. At this point in the event, your guests are a captive audience. People can eat and listen to the toast at the same time and then you don’t have to find time elsewhere in your schedule to fit the toasts in. This also helps with guests that don’t like who they are seated with as they won’t have to feel awkward and have small talk with the other guests at their table. A good idea for doing toasts this way is to also have the first speaker to ask the guests to continue eating while the toasts are being made.
How far should the tables be apart?
When it comes to how close the tables are placed, a good rule of thumb is to keep them about 1.5 meters apart. This allows for enough room for people to walk between the tables as well as get in and out of their chairs.
How many people fit at the tables?
The general rule for how many people that can sit at each different sized table is as follows:
- Trestle Table – 1.8m – Seats 8
- Trestle Table – 2.4m – Seats 10
- Round Table – 1.5m – Seats 8
- Round Table – 1.8m – Seats 10
- Round Table – 900mm – Seats 4
- Kids Trestle table – 1.8m – Seats 10
How decide who goes where…
Now that you know how many people are coming and how many tables you need, how are you going to figure out where they are all going to sit? I find the easiest way is to write each person’s name on a sticky note and line up a sheet of paper per table. This way you can move the people around as much as you like until you are happy with who is sitting with who and have the appropriate number of guests per table. Take a picture or write the table numbers on your guest list if you have one so you don’t forget where anyone goes. I suggest asking your closest friends and family for their input on the seating chart as you might find that people you thought would like to sit together may rather be seated with someone else. Try mixing things up groups of friends and family, you never know, new friendships just may be formed all because you sat them with someone other than the obvious choices.
Again… Don’t overthink your choices…
I’m sure people won’t mind if they are not seated with their brothers and sisters or high school friends. Your guests are there to celebrate and support you on your special day.
All in all, I hope you have fun and found something useful in this to help ease some of the pressure of planning your big day! We are always happy to help with your wedding catering for your big day, see our Wedding Menu’s Here.
Enjoy your special day!