Seating arrangement is a headache for many couples when planning a wedding. Which guest sits at which table, next to whom and on which seat? We have put together the most important tips for you. With them you can create the seating arrangements effortlessly and you can look forward to a successful wedding celebration at which all guests feel comfortable.
The advantages and disadvantages of a seating arrangement
Whether you want to commit to a seating arrangement or not depends entirely on how you envision your celebration and how big your wedding party is. The seating arrangement has the advantage that you avoid clutter right from the start and save your guests from looking for a suitable place . Once everyone has been assigned a fixed place, everyone can sit down faster and the party can begin. In the best case, you will succeed in placing your guests in such a way that the table neighbors can get along perfectly and have a lively conversation. This has a decisive influence on the mood at your wedding and guarantees a pleasant atmosphere.
A disadvantage is sometimes cited that with a fixed seating arrangement, guests cannot choose for themselves who to sit next to. Some couples do without it, especially for small wedding parties or a table arrangement with free-standing individual tables. However, even at a celebration without seating arrangement, it is usually the case, at least the bride's parents and the withesses to keep a seat next to the bride and groom free. It is also advisable to provide enough additional seating in this case. This means that the guests do not have to search for free chairs for a long time if they want to move around in between.
For larger celebrations, you can also opt for a middle ground and assign the tables, but not the fixed seat.
Who sits where? Who is sitting next to whom?
The first step in creating a seating plan is to consider which groups you will be dividing your guests into. You can then assign these to the desired seats as soon as the room and table arrangement as well as the definitive guest list are available .
Who is sitting at the bridal table?
Traditionlly , the bridal couple sits at the so-called bridal table as the central table in the room. It should be able to be seen clearly by the guests and also have a good overview. If you decide on a table arrangement with a long wedding table, the bride and groom will sit on the long side of the table in the middle. The bride sits to the right of the groom. To the left of the groom sits his mother, next to her the father. On the other hand, the bride's parents join next to the bride. In addition to the parents , the grandparents , then the siblings and the best manplaced. However, many couples also opt for a more relaxed seating arrangement and would like to sit right next to their best man and closest friends. The family still sits at the bridal table near the bride and groom.
This variant is also useful for divorced parents. In this way, they can be better separated spatially and unpleasant situations can be avoided.
In the case of table arrangements with free-standing individual tables, the bride and groom also sit at the bridal table in such a way that they have a good overview and can be seen by the guests. For this, the bride and groom are either placed in the center or at a table on the edge that is easily visible.
Tips for a good atmosphere at guest tables
The guests are best placed according to groups of friends and / or families . However, if you want to consciously mix your guests, you can use common interests and life situations as clues. How to find families with children quickly common themes and a shared hobby or destinations provide quick conversation. It is also advisable to place quiet guests next to livelier ones. If possible, distribute real mood bombs well in the room.
Couples should definitely sit next to each other. Separate couples, falling out friends, or family members, on the other hand, are best dealt with. You should definitely avoid single tables . Many people feel uncomfortable just by going to a wedding alone. A single table doesn't make this situation any easier. Therefore, it is much more pleasant for singles to mingle with the crowd and be able to sit with friends or family.
Take into account guests with special needs
If you have decided on children's tables , it is best to place the parents near them so that they can keep an eye on the offspring. Families with babies or toddlers sit conveniently near the washrooms. Even older guests can take short paths to the toilets and to the buffet.
Also plan enough space for strollers, wheelchairs and rollators. Wheelchair users should have sufficient space at the table, be able to move backwards undisturbed and also have enough space in the aisles. Parents with babies in strollers should sit so that they can have them nearby.
It is best not to place older guests or families with children in the immediate vicinity of music systems or loudspeakers.
Determine the seating plan for the wedding
Once you have divided your guests into groups and you have the finished table arrangement, you can start planning the exact seating for your wedding. It is best to have the table plan ready for this. Especially with medium and large wedding parties, you can write the names of the guests on sticky notes and assign them.
It is best to start with the bridal table. Then you take on the groups with special needs, then the remaining groups. If you use sticky notes, you can easily try out changes at any time , even if these should arise shortly before the wedding celebration. A simple digital table or graphic can also be helpful here. You can now find many templates and apps online for this.
How guests find their seat
You need name cards so that your guests can quickly find their seat . For larger wedding parties, it is advisable to set up a table plan with the names of the guests at the entrance to the room . It is best to design the table plan graphically and clearly. So it can be easily integrated into the decoration and everyone can find their table more easily. Both the creation of the name cards and the design of the table plan often take more time than expected. Therefore, you should start as early as possible.
Depending on what options you have on site, you can attach or set up the table plan with the seating arrangement on the wall. A taut cord, for example, has a particularly decorative effect. With clips you attach a card with the respective name to it on each table. You can have the cards printed or decorate them yourself with calligraphy, stamps or other elements.
If you cannot attach the table plan to the wall, an easel, for example, is suitable as a stand. A large plan looks particularly appealing on it in a picture frame. Have you chosen a rustic location for your wedding, such as a party barn? Then you can also integrate the table plan into an old window frame or into an old wagon wheel and make it a special eye-catcher .
Instead of assigning numbers to the individual tables , you can also give them names. Maybe you have a wedding motto ? Or did you orientate yourself to a certain theme when decorating? Then you can search for terms and use them to name the tables . The destination of your honeymoon or special keywords around your getting to know each other and your common life path are also suitable as a reference point .
Table numbers or names should be easily recognizable on the tables themselves. You can, for example, incorporate them into the flower decoration by attaching cards to wire and putting them in pots.
Ideas for designing name cards
Large tables cannot do without name cards, thanks to which your guests can quickly find their place at the table. These can be integrated just as wonderfully into the decoration for the wedding as the table numbers. You can have decorative place cards made and put them up at the respective seat.
Instead of name tags, you can also have the names made out of wood as lettering. If you want to get creative yourself , you can name beautiful stones or shells. Lanterns with the names in decorative lettering are also popular.
If you decide to assign your guests to individual tables, but not to fixed places, you can make place cards with their names. You place these centrally and clearly visible on the table. A table motto provides a topic of conversation among the respective guests right from the start.
Orientation aid for the service
If you have hired a service for your wedding, you should also send them the seating arrangements. This is especially important if you have guests with special needs, such as allergy sufferers. It is also advantageous if the service knows where small children are sitting. Their places can then be equipped with appropriate dishes and high chairs.
You will also save a lot of time if you commission the service to set up the name cards.
Even if the seating arrangement involves a lot of planning, it is inevitable for many weddings. So that you can start planning in good time, it is best to send the invitations as early as possible and include a deadline for the acceptance or rejection. When it comes to time planning, the following applies: Only create the seating arrangement when you have a fixed guest list, but in good time to be able to plan in peace and take care of place cards and name cards.