By Megan Zapalac
Yes. We know. Arranging a seating chart for your reception can be overwhelming, but it does not have to be. May we offer a few suggestions to help you think through the process?
First, think about those people that already know one another and possibly already have relationships. Maybe they are extended family, or work together, or have been lifelong friends. This is a great place to at least start placement.
Of course there will be a table for the wedding party, immediate family, and grandparents. This could be done as one big table for all and the bride and groom at the center. Depending on the size of your wedding and the reception venue will dictate whether the entire wedding party is seated at this table or possibly just the Maid of Honor and the Best Man.
For those having a small casual wedding, there might not even be a need for a seating chart. It is likely that most guests will already know one another and they will be comfortable finding a spot that fits everyone.
To help lessen the stress of planning a wedding, start creating the seating chart once you know where the reception will be held. This gives you plenty of time to study the chart, move things around and think through the flow of people. This will also help with planning decorations.
Selecting the type of tables for your reception will also help you decide whether or not to formally seat your guests. If there will be over 100 guests, long rectangular tables are a great way to save room for the dance floor and allow people to engage with more people. For a smaller wedding, round tables will maintain that intimate feeling and enable people to see those seated with them more easily. A combination of both round and long rectangular tables is also a great option.
Always keep in mind that the purpose of designing a seating chart is to take the burden of making that decision off of your guests. If they know where to sit when they enter the room, everyone will be more at ease and that will help create an atmosphere of relaxation and fun.