Traditionally, you’ll entertain your guests after the ceremony with a sit down meal of your choice. This section of the day will be a huge part of the official merging of the two families; it gives everyone time to get to know one another, mingle and enjoy a good celebration in the best way we know.
Seating plans can be extremely stressful, especially when planning a big wedding. It’s difficult to choose where to seat everyone, in order to make sure everyone is comfortable and there’s going to be no unnecessary tension or confusion.
So, here’s a few tips and ideas to get you thinking about that all important seating plan.
1. First things first, check the capacity with the venue. Whilst their capacity might be a huge number of people, you’ll want to make sure everyone has plenty of room to get to their seats without too much moving seats and squeezing in as people try and get past. Everyone should be comfortable, so perhaps only invite certain people to the sit down meal, whilst the rest of the guests can come later for the evening reception.
2. Be sure to mix things up! After the wedding ceremony, people are likely to slide back into their families or groups they arrived with, so it’s a good idea to mix up the seating plan so everyone has a chance to mingle. To make guests comfortable, try pair friends and family into twos and place them on different tables. That way, they’ve still got a familiar face and plenty of chance to make new friends. Find a balance between age groups and interests so that the seating plan is subtly prepared for a pleasurable night for everyone.
3. Whilst we’ve all seen the ‘singles table’ at weddings in films, this is a definite no in the real world. Instead, give a good mix of both men and women on each table and allow everyone to make up their own minds on the people around them. A singles table is way too obvious and forcing people to meet hardly ever works out right.
4. Allow the guests to make up their own minds about the seating plan. Break traditions and assign tables rather than seats – so that the guests have a little freedom as to where they choose to sit and who next to. Alternatively, remove all the stress and leave family and friends to mingle and choose their own seating. With no seating plan, there’s no stress for you, but that isn’t to say the two families won’t use their own initiative to go and introduce themselves to one another.
The simplest way is to not overthink it; it’s easy to get worked up into a stress whilst deciding who’s going to take care of this relative, or who can’t sit with who. These things have a great way of working themselves out, and with all the festivities going on throughout the day, it’s unlikely there’s going to be any problem with whatever seating plan you choose.