So, you're getting married. You're probably thinking about the guest list, your dress, your flowers invitations, etc. What about the seating plan for your reception? This important part of your big day can be quite the headache. Here are some tips for taking the stress out of creating the perfect seating plan for your wedding reception.
How many seats do you have?
Figure out how many chairs there are in the reception hall. Also find out how many tables there are. A traditional wedding setup has a long table for the bridal party that faces the guests. The guests usually sit at round tables or small tables.
Once you've determined the number of seats, draw a sketch of the floor plan. This will help you place people very easily.
Get some help placing people.
Consult with your parents and his parents about the people who may not have much in common. It's important to put people who have commonalities together. Don't forget to factor in sticky situations. Are there divorced or separated couples or parents? Make sure you accommodate them.
Place couples together and families with children together. You don't want to split a couple up. That would just be awkward. Kids need the watchful eye of their parents.
Next step, develop categories for common interests. Your categories can be based on factors such as age, couples, singles, families with kids, elderly family members, guests from far away, etc.
Mix people in that don't know each other. This makes for interesting conversation and gives outside friends and family a glimpse of people very close to you.
Do a trial run in the reception area with the place cards. Make sure that older guests are closest to the food tables (if you are going buffet style) and the restrooms. Put families with kids on the outside tables in case anyone gets restless. Get your wedding coordinator involved if you can. He or she can really provide valuable input about the setup of tables, placing of guests and the details you may be overlooking.
Stash a copy of the seating chart somewhere safe. If you don't already have a wedding binder, get one. You don't need to lose this seating plan in the flurry of activities leading up to your wedding day.
Placecard Holders - Use theme related seating charts or placecard holders to direct the guests to their seats. This way there is no confusion or chaos when the dinner begins and guests can quickly and painlessly find their seats so the real fun can begin.
Relax. Don't stress too much over the seating plan. It's important to accommodate your guests, but, remember, this is your day. Enjoy it!
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