A Quick and Easy Guide to Reception Seating Etiquette

When considering the details of your wedding reception, your seating arrangement is just as important as choosing the venue, the DJ, the flowers, or the flavor of the cake.


Deciding who sits where can be one decision you’ll return to many times over the course of your wedding planning. Getting it right so that everyone is happy will result in the perfect recipe for a fantastic reception.


Here’s a quick and easy guide getting the most out of your seating chart.



Do provide a seating chart for a formal plated dinner.


If you’re planning to have more than 60 or so guests at your reception, or if you’re planning a plated meal, a seating chart is essential. Your caterer will require a copy of the seating diagram, so they know who ordered the chicken, beef, or vegetarian entree.


Plus, with larger weddings, seating cards remove guest indecision about where to sit, making the process of seating people and getting the reception underway much smoother.

Don’t worry about traditional rules for the wedding party table.


Your comfort is of utmost importance at your reception. So, choose to sit how you want. That may mean a long table at the head of the room facing your guests, a sweetheart table with your new spouse, or at a round table with your favorite people among the guests.



Do consider your guests’ comfort.


Yes, it is your day. However, being a good host is just as important as making sure your vision for your big day comes to life. Place your guests with whom they may get along with the most. Don’t place individuals who may not get along at the same table. Also, don’t put all the singles at one table if you know that many of them may be embarrassed by this placement.



Don’t allow access to the reception tables before it’s time.


The number one way to kill the mood of the reception is to allow the guests in early. People will find their seats and sit down, waiting for the party to begin even though the cocktail hour isn’t even over. They may end up sitting for a long while, failing to mingle or enjoy themselves, and becoming impatient for dinner to come.


If you’re planning on providing a cocktail hour before the reception, hold it in a separate space with a few seats available for older people or individuals who aren’t able to stand for an extended period. Cocktail hour encourages guests to socialize with others and become comfortable with the party atmosphere. So, when the reception time comes, guests are happy and ready to party.



Do expect last minute changes.


Along the way, you will have changes to the guest list including last-minute additions or special requests. Be flexible and expect that your seating chart to be fluid up until days before the wedding.


Our Dream Wedding Planners allow you to plan your perfect day easily. Your planner will guide you through the entire process, including deciding on your seating chart.


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