Creating seating arrangements for your wedding can seem overwhelming at first, but once you get into the swing of it, it can actually be fun. At any kind of sit-down dinner, assigned seats tend to make things simpler. To begin with, it ensures each table will be filled to max capacity.

Here is a quick guide on how to properly sit your wedding guests during the reception party.

1. Table Shapes

Before you start seating guests, you’ll need to have a plan for your tables. The size and shape will determine how many guests can be seated at each table. When it comes to wedding table shapes, you have four basic options: round, rectangle, oval and square.

Typically, you can fit more rectangular tables into space and it’s easier to talk across the tables. Round tables, on the other hand, are the most traditional option and afford your guests more leg room. After you decide on what tables you prefer, then you can start populating them with your guests.

 

2. Friends

A head table full of your wedding party and their dates if you’ve got the room is a great way to acknowledge their special role, as well as surround yourselves with your BFFs during dinner.

Opting for a sweetheart table? Have your wedding party host tables, instead. Seat them with their dates and a group of other mutual friends. They should be seated at the third-best tables in the room — the first is your sweetheart table, the second-best tables are for your parents and the third is your wedding party. Near the dance floor, for easier access to getting it down.

tables and seating arrangement

3. Arrange Guests by Groups

Now that you have a finalized list of who’s coming, you can start putting people into groups. Begin by grouping guests according to how you know them, such as: family members, secondary school friends, university friends, work friends, etc.

This doesn’t mean you have to sit them according to group, but a picture will start to form of who already knows each other and gets along. In addition to grouping by how you know guests, you can also consider your guests’ age, interests and backgrounds.

Try to make everyone feel comfortable by offering a mix of familiar and new faces at each table. And, of course, be tactful: avoid seating people together who have a history they wish they could forget.

 

4. Floor Space

Keep the floor plan of your venue in mind while creating your wedding seating chart, too. Give your VIPs the best seats in the house, so they have a clear view of all the action and can jump into the celebration.

Guests in wheelchairs should be seated at tables that are either closer to the edge of the room or closer to the dance floor, so they’ll have plenty of space to maneuver as needed.

Older guest may want to be a little further from the band and not near a speaker so it isn’t too loud. Seat younger guests who will be on the dance floor all night near the band so they can really boogie down!

 

5. Parents

Traditionally, your parents and your sweetie’s parents sit at the same table, along with grandparents, siblings not in the wedding party, and the officiant and his/her spouse if they attend the reception.

But if you or your spouse’s parents are divorced, and are uncomfortable about sitting next to each other, you might want to let each set of parents host their own table of close family and/or friends .

This could mean up to four parents’ tables, depending on your situation or have the divorced parent who raised you (or your honey) and his/her spouse/date sit at the table with still-married parents.