Weddings are filled with many emotions: happiness, excitement and anticipation, to name a few. With all of the positive emotions a wedding may drum up, in the mix there may be a few negative ones, including feelings of being overwhelmed at all the details that need to be completed on a deadline.
One aspect of wedding planning that tends to send people into panic is wedding reception seating arrangements. The thought of having 200 friends and family members together under one roof -- and then attempting to seat them next to an acceptable group of people -- can cause some couples to hyperventilate.
Every family has its ups and downs, and there are certain people who get along well and a few who clash. Ensuring that a wedding is memorable for all the right reasons (and not for the brawl at table 3) is why seating arrangements are so important. Many couples can use a little advice when seating guests, while others would love another person to handle the seating arrangements for them.
Here are some guidelines for setting up reception seating arrangements.
* Place yourselves, as well as the bridal party, at a separate table that is in a prime location in the room. Be sure to allow the spouses or dates of bridal party members at the same table so couples remain together.
* Some couples choose to seat both sets of parents at one table together -- the parents' table. Grandparents may also be seated at this table, depending on the number of people each table can accommodate.
* If children under the age of 7 are invited, they should be seated with their parents. Children between ages 7 and 14 can be seated at a separate kids' table.
* Be mindful of guests with disabilities or mobility issues. Seat them close to the door, bathrooms or food station.
* Instead of separating the bride and the groom's family to separate sides, intermingle the tables to promote conversation.
* Consider arranging guests by common interests at each table, seating business associates or parents' friends together.
* Take into consideration people who have relationship rifts and try to seat them separately. But don't stress about this too much because it won't be possible to accommodate everyone. You'll have to hope that at your wedding a certain level of decorum will preside.
* It's not unheard of to let guests seat themselves. This takes the pressure of finding a seat for everyone off of you as a couple and enables you to think about the other tasks at hand. This can take place at a buffet wedding or a smaller affair.