Trying to figure out the right seating for any wedding reception can be a daunting task. Obviously, you want the right people to sit in the right place to make the entire event comfortable and successful. Keep in mind that for this to happen, you will need to plan. A well-organized wedding reception occurs because someone paid attention to some very important details as you will see below.
For weddings of around 50 guests, or if you plan to serve your guests a buffet dinner, then you might get by simpl by setting up round tables and allowing people to sit wherever they like. However, if your wedding will be larger and you plan to serve a sit-down dinner, then assigned seating is the best option.
For starters, most people in this situation like to walk into the reception and know where they will be sitting. This shows the guests that you too special care to arrange their specific seat. Additionally, if more than one entrée will be served, this makes the process of serving much easier for the servers by keeping things organized. To make it even easier, you can create a colorful, seating chart for the guests to find their way to the table visually.
One of the most important things to remember, just as you did with planning your wedding, a good reception also needs to be well planned. Instead of waiting until the week before the event, start several weeks out or as soon as you have your responses to plan. This will ensure things are organized and that you are not dealt any surprises.
The way to create your chart is to take a blank piece of poster board and several colored pencils. Then, draw circles to represent the tables and inside, the names of the individuals that will sit there. Finally, once you have determined who will sit where, you want to create cards that will be placed at each place setting.
For the bride and grooms parents, you want to seat them along with any grandparents, great-grandparents, brothers and sisters that are not in the wedding, and the minister and his spouse, if applicable. If there were divorced parents, unless they have a great relationship, you would create a separate table for each to avoid potential conflict.
When it comes to the rest of the family, you should try to put people together that you know get along and have similar interests. Additionally, try to keep the ages at these tables similar so you have teens at one table, 20 to 30-year-olds at another, 40 to 50-year-olds at another, and so on.
For friends, school friends, and co-workers, you would do the same. Try to keep people of the same age and interest together. If you have several co-workers coming to the reception, then be sure you seat them together and the same for other types of friends. Just remember, do your best and people will understand if you happen to miss something. However, with proper planning, you will get this down to a fine art.