While this may vary across different cultures and religious concepts, there are some basic rules and points you need to apply to pull off a great seating arrangement at your marriage ceremony.
How guests are seated at a wedding or traditional marriage ceremony reception is very important and should not be taken for granted either by the couple or the planner. Not only does this bring about structure and organisation to the function, but also tends to allow you to group people in a way to create a balance in terms of energy, excitement and total involvement of all present.
It is also very important to create a seating chart if you have many guests coming to the function. It also tends to put an end to the non-ending issue of having uninvited guests at the reception and this bit of information can be nicely couched in the invitation, so guests have prior notice of a seating chart.
Seating Chart Options
While the layout will vary from venue to venue, this step by step process affords us with the basic ideas we need in order to plan how we position guests and vendors.
- Get a floor and an area plan-
This will allow you to know the size of the area you are working with as well as entry and exit points and the location of washrooms if close by.
- Know where to place the DJ, food and the cake – these should be well positioned not to create obstruction when guests are entering the venue.
- A good look at your guest list will also allow you to decide the number and shapes of tables you need in order to be able to create an excellent layout while maintaining a good ambiance and flow of energy.
- Depending on the type of couple you have, they may opt to be seated alone, with their bridal and groom party or be seated with their guests; these discussions however have to be had to iron out any issues that could arise from the decision they make. Eg. Being seated alone- does this make them too distant from the guests that they lose out on some of the communal fun and conversations, or that private moment gives them the much needed break from the tension that may have been built up from the beginning of the days’ formal activities?
- Position the family of the couple- it is quite a common practice to have the families of the couple seated on opposite sides of the venue. This however depends once again on the couple and the type of relationship that is shared amongst the families. If there is the likelihood of tensions that could arise, then it certainly remains a good idea to have them across each other. On the other hand, some families like to jointly share in the happiness of the union and would want to be seated together to signify the formalization of the union between the bride and the groom.
- Seat the other guests based on working relationships, age and social activities
- Depending on the type of guests you may have, it is also important to consider a kids table with a designated chaperon to ensure they get the best attention and fun. This should not be too far off from their parents. It may also be a good idea to have some creative materials to keep them engaged so the adults have their share of the fun as well.
- Have a digital seating chart/ plan; you can name the tables according to cities, plants, countries etc depending on the chosen theme for the wedding.