5 Ways to Nail your Wedding Reception Seating Plan

Your guests might not realize how much work is involved in designing the wedding reception seating plan. It should all look easy – but in truth, organizing your seating plan is no small feat!

  • Should Ilene sit next to Bruce, or Dave?
  • Can we get Aunt Margaret as far away as possible from Uncle Dennis?
  • Will a singles table make reception guests feel awkward?

Designing a wedding reception seating plan is one of the most complex tasks in planning your wedding. While making a seating chart, you can ask for professional help, but they don’t know your guests and the dynamics between them. Here are some simple ways you can make your wedding reception seating plan suit all the requirements. You can also take a look at Milton Ridge’s Wedding Reception Hall Photos to give you an idea of different seating plan layouts.

Your Wedding Reception Seating Plan should:

Seating cards for wedding reception

1. Assign Tables, Not Chairs

The first item on your Wedding Pre-Planning Checklist in your binder (apart from your wedding date) is how many guests you’re inviting. This serves as the foundation for your seating plan. But think about it in terms of how many tables, rather than chairs. This will help your guests to choose their favorite chairs and give them the chance to sit next to who they prefer. With emphasis on tables rather than chairs, you only have to place cards (on a cute little table card table like the photo above!) and people will occupy the assigned table. This tip works perfectly when you are serving buffet or family style at the wedding reception. If you are serving plated meal, it gets a little bit more complicated because you have to ensure the right meal is served to the right person.

2. Include Tables of 10 People (max)

When you are designing a reception seating plan, give your guests some elbow room! Plan for a maximum of 10 people on a single table. This applies to the table of standard size i.e. 60”. This will ensure the comfort level of the guests and make them feel at ease. Some people prefer including more people per table but this could get crowded fast — especially if your guests have seconds of that amazing fettuccine alfredo!

3. Give Sufficient Distance between Tables

When you are setting the tables, make sure that there is sufficient distance between the tables. The ideal distance between the tables is 30 inches. This distance is necessary for ensuring easy movement. Guests cannot sit on closed chairs and they have to pull out the chairs to accommodate. Having tables at distance will make it easier for the guests to sit comfortably. Also, as the couple of honor, you want to be sure you’re able to get around and say hello to everyone. Nothing more embarrassing than squeezing unsuccessfully between chairs and ending up on your fiance’s Great Uncle Tommy’s lap!

wedding reception table settings

4. Keep Birds of a Feather Together

Most wedding receptions are two hours long or longer. People tend to have a better time with the people they like and who they’re likely to have a laugh with. If they are accommodated with people they don’t like, it will create tension in the event and nobody would be able to enjoy. You should ensure that the people at each table are comfortable with each other and there are no chances of conflict among them. And if you’re considering having kids at your wedding, having a kids table might be a great option. Your millennial singles table will thank you.

5. Put the Couple Front & Center

The seating arrangement of the couple should be in the center of the venue at the front. This will highlight the couple of honor and make the wedding reception more special and memorable. Also, the bride and groom can be easily accessible to every guest and serving them will be easier. Some people like to have a sweetheart table, that way the bride and groom can sit together without hurting anyone’s feelings and get some much needed down time from all those well-meaning guests!

There you have it! Five simple ways to make your wedding reception seating plan rock. Seating plans made this way make the event memorable and convenient for everyone, especially the organizers. We hope you find this post helpful and informative. If you need additional information or have any queries, give us a call at Milton Ridge — or better yet, book a tour! Here at Milton Ridge, we have professional reception hall planning software, which all our couples have access to. This makes it so much easier and Ronnie and Meaghan would love to give you more tips!

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