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Wedding Seating Plans 101
> Wedding Seating Plans 101

23 April 2015

Organising your seating plan for your big day is a daunting task. Deciding where family, friends, colleagues and loved ones should sit during your wedding is never easy and can often be overwhelming.

Don’t panic, as this blog post aims to ease your fears and get you to start thinking about the all-important wedding seating plan! We take you through the planning journey, helping you get started, providing a few handy hints, and ending with a couple of head table arrangements. Remember, there is no right answer so devise a plan/arrangement that feels right for your and your fiancé.

Getting started!

Start by buying a large piece of cardboard and drawing your reception venue along with the planned layout of tables. Write all your guests names on thin post-its – you might want to use different colours for each category, ie: friends, family, colleagues and so on. These post-its can then be placed on the ‘tables’ on the cardboard sheet. Using post-its makes it easy to move people around and explore different options.

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Top tips

These handy tips should help you crack the seating plan within no time.

  • Standard round / banquet tables provided by the venue can usually accommodate 8 – 10 people. If you are looking to fit a larger number in a small space, try using rectangular / long tables. We’ve found that using a combination of round and rectangular, works well as an option and the asymmetry looks rather quaint.
  • A general rule of thumb for seating assignments if you’re using round tables is to have males and females sitting alternately round the table. For long tables, it is better to seat couples opposite each other; if possible, try to alternate males and females across the length of the table.
  • Remember to account for high-chairs for babies and toddlers. If you have several children attending, you could look at allocating a table for kids, equipped with goodies to keep them entertained (crayons, colouring books etc)
  • Invariably, the closer people are seated to the head table, the more important they feel, so look at the option of closing family and friends nearer to your head table.
  • Consider singles or people who do not know anyone else at the wedding – try to seat them next to someone friendly so they feel welcome and comfortable. Alternatively, you could introduce them to a few friends at a pre-wedding event so they feel relaxed at your wedding.
  • Be mindful of ‘sensitive’ seating issues, if exes (who do not get along) are both attending, then try to seat them on separate tables.
  • Trying more than one option can make it easier to hone in on and agree to a final arrangement.
  • Be prepared for last minute changes and do not fret over them – there is always a suitable solution.
  • Lastly, don’t stress too much about the seating plan – it is close to impossible to please everyone!

Here are a few seating layouts to give you inspiration!

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Head table 

The head table is of great significance and the focal point of your seating plan. Everyone is always keen to see the newly married couple and their bridal party. While traditionally, the head table always included immediate family recently, we have seen more modern arrangements work really well.

Here are a few seating arrangement options for your head table:

Family loving

For the traditionalist, this head table arrangement honours your family and closest friends.

Family loving image

Party time 

If your parents are keen to play ‘host’ and mingle with guests, the below option is a great alternative.

Party time image


This setting is lovely for those of you having an intimate ceremony and prefer to stay in the spotlight.

Sweethearts image

With either of the above two options, remember to seat each set of parents nearer to the head table with close family.

We hope the above helps demystify the science behind seating plans and helps your plan your special day! X

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