Unless your wedding is going to be a small informal reception with one or two tables then it is best to put together a guest seating plan and position this clearly for guests to see either outside the dinning room or just inside the doorway. It can also work well to send the information with the wedding invitations if you have everything planned and nailed down at that point but please do not rely on guests remembering to bring this with them so you will always need the seating plan at the reception too.

seating plan

Confetti.co.uk Wedding Table Seating Plan Kit

There may be many reasons to ponder on who is going to sit where at your wedding reception, ideally you want people to meet and chat to other guests but not feel uncomfortable with where they are sat.  Your family, friends and guests will also have an ideal of where they would want to sit so you may want to ask a few questions before starting the plans.

According to surveys carried out over 50% of guests would prefer to be told where to sit with a place card and only 13% would prefer to choose the table and where they are going to sit.

Tips on Planning your Reception Seating

  • Find out as soon as possible how the reception tables are going to be set out –  you can then sit people nearer certain areas that they may need to be close to. eg does any guests need to be seated nearer toilets, away from speakers, nearer the front.
  • Always seat younger children with their parents – The last thing you want is for any little ones being upset and wanting to squeeze into mummy’s table.
  • Be careful of creating a full table of children – Children and teens are prone to getting overly excited when in a group and you can generally get one or two that would love to entertain the table to a higher exciting level.
  • Avoid putting ex partners onto the same tables – the mix of a wedding celebration and alcohol may not be the best idea even if the couple are generally amicable.
  • Avoid trying to be matchmaker with single guests – This can sometimes appear obvious and quite embarrassing for the singles
  • Avoid putting together tables where most guests haven’t met before – Take the time to introduce people who you think would get along well and then you can let them know they are seated together.

Once you have planned your guests to a specific table you can then think about if its best to also have specific seating and use place cards. It is traditional to alternate the guests in sitting man – woman – man – woman arrangements, but again you need to make sure people will be comfortable.

Opting for the table seating plan then this gives the guests some choice to where and who they will sit next to.  You can make a saving with not having to buy place cards and it cuts down the planning time needed.

Full table and seating plans has an advantage of the guests being seated and comfortable quickly, this can also help quite a bit with integrating guests so that the conversations around the table are more even and if any guests have specific meals this can be organised easily.

When you are planning your tables have a little fun, think about how your seating table plan can fall inline with your wedding theme and what designs work best with the reception room and style. You may want to allocate names to your tables rather than numbers to avoid the numbering looking like it relates to importance.