Your wedding day is one of the most special and important days of your life; so with this in mind you will want to ensure that everything goes to smoothly. To do this you need to make sure you thoroughly plan every last detail, which includes the age old debate of whether or not to have a wedding seating chart.

I guess you could say that having a seating arrangement at a wedding is somewhat of a tradition. However many people are now opting out of deciding where people sit at their reception and instead leaving it as a free for all, first come get the best seats etc. If your wedding involves a small and seemingly informal reception then there really isn’t a need to have a seating plan. On the other hand, if your reception involves a large number of people, all of which are going to take part in a sit down meal then both you and your guests may possibly benefit from the help of a wedding seating chart.

Whether or not you assign tables and seats to certain people is completely up to you, at the end of the day this is your wedding! But, as you are aware, planning a wedding can involve a lot of hard decisions. So to help you along with deciding what to do about seating arrangements I have complied a list of the pros and cons that are associated with planned seats and unplanned seats.

PROS

There is no pressure on your guests to find a table themselves. They will be able to relax at lot more knowing that the decision of where to sit has been taken out of their hands. Also this way they can’t be blamed for sitting with certain people and snubbing others.

Everyone at your reception will be accounted for as everyone will have a place to sit so no one is left wondering around. You will simple be able to greet your guests knowing they are all taken care of.

You will have the power to keep difficult combinations of guests away from each other; the last thing you want is for there to be a lot of tension and people feeling awkward about whom they are sitting with.

A reception meal generally lasts about two or three hour; it is a main part of the day. Due to this you want your guests to be sitting by people that they get on with and that they are familiar with as this will add to their overall enjoyment of the day.

It saves time and confusion at the start of the reception and if someone really doesn’t like where they have been sat it’s not the end of the world as they can simply move. Your guests are basically saved from a mad panic of trying to find a seat on a table with friends or other family members as you will have already placed them somewhere they will be the happiest.

CONS

A seating arrangement does however mean more work for you. It may put an additional strain on the bride and groom to find a pleasant place for each guest to sit.

You may not know everyone’s relationship to one another so a wedding seating chart could go wrong and leave some people next to each other when they would prefer to be far apart!

What happens to the odd few people who don’t know anyone else? In general with seating arrangements they will end up dumped together at one table. This could end up being very awkward for most of the reception.

So what’s your conclusion?

By not having arranged seating you could end up causing confusion, many people tend to need some form of direction. Yes a wedding seating chart can be a pain to do but the end result is worth it but make sure you keep points such as the following in mind; seat guests that know each other together, don’t sit people that don’t get on near each other, make sure children are kept with their parents, seat guest together who are a similar age or with the same interests. Also make sure that close family and friends are seated the closest to the head table where you, the bride and groom, will be seated.

Remember there is no right and wrong way of arranging the seating for your big day so just go with what feels right for you and what you truly feel your guests would be most comfortable with. It’s not a case of life or death so try and have some fun with it!

Share this article...Email this to someoneShare on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest0Share on Google+0Share on Tumblr0Share on Reddit0Share on LinkedIn0

A little bit about Adam, founder of TopTablePlanner...

Adam has been working in the wedding industry since 2006. After discovering that arranging the seating is one of the hardest parts of planning a wedding, he launched TopTablePlanner in 2007. See his Google+ profile.