While getting through the invite list was hard enough, there’s a part two you haven’t tackled yet. Now guests will start to reply with their RSVP’s, and you have to create your seating chart! Deciding where everybody should sit can seem daunting, but have no fear. Knowing these 5 mistakes most brides make will help you to avoid the same misstep.
1) Seating Older Guests Near the Dance Floor
While we’ve all seen videos of grandparents hitting the dance floor and “cutting a rug”, most older guests don’t want to be sat next to the DJ’s speakers. They are looking for a calmer space to perhaps watch from a distance. It’s better to place the younger guests upfront. They’ll enjoy being able to jump right onto the dance floor. They will also easily be able to access their table when they need to take a breather!
2) Creating a Singles Table
While it may seem easiest to create a singles table (or two) when making your seating chart, it can make your single friends feel like an afterthought. Instead of forcing everyone at once table and hoping for the best, it’s best to sprinkle them throughout your tables. Keep in mind, you want every guest to sit at a table where they know at least one other person. It might take a bit more time, but your guests will feel more comfortable.
3) Not Having a Children’s Table
If your wedding allows children, having a table for all of the children to sit at is helpful in many ways. It allows the parents to have fun with the other adults, and the kids to enjoy time with their pals. This also helps the wait staff if there are separate children’s meals. Win-win-win!
4) Putting Non-Family Guests in the Back
It’s understandable to want your family members and closest friends at the front, but do try to consider how it appears to your guests. According to Greg Jenkins of Bravo Productions, it’s an obvious slap in the face for those guests seated in the back. “Especially if food service is not coordinated properly, the guests in the back are to be fed last. It’s better to mix family with friends and when either summoning guests for the buffet or serving sit-down meals, it’s all done sporadically and not done in an order that would make one feel like a ‘second class citizen.”
I have definitely photographed weddings where there was an obvious distinction. At one, a group of people were sat away from the dance floor, around a corner. It was awkward for me to even go grab their photos as part of my reception coverage because it felt strange. Try to mix and make sure everyone knows at least one person at the table, and you’ll be set!
5) Not Including the Bridal Party’s Dates
Couples might not consider having the dates of the bridal party sit with their date if they are having a head table. This makes the meal and set up a bit awkward. It can also leave some dates mixed in with people they don’t know. “If you’re set on featuring a head table, consider this: Have your wedding party sit in the traditional location beside the bride and groom while having their dates across the table. Or, surround a sweetheart table with two round tables; one for the bridesmaids and their dates, the other for groomsmen and theirs,” says Katie Crowley of Ocean Blue Catering. This makes the event feel much more inclusive, and everyone will be grateful for your decision!
I also want to mention that you don’t have to go it alone! I’ve previously mentioned some wedding planning apps and online tools that greatly help with creating your seating chart.
I hope you found this post helpful, and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out! Happy planning!
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