Wedding Guests: Seating Arrangement Tips

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It’s one of your final tasks on your to-do list as bride: arranging the seating for the reception. Whether you will have fifty or one hundred and fifty guests they will all need to sit down at some point and the way you plan the seating will set the tone for the reception. Regardless of who Aunt Susie wants to sit with, you as the bride with the groom can choose and decide who will sit with who. Here are some tips we recommend when seating guests:

Create a spreadsheet ahead of time. Aim to get the seating chart done at least a week before the wedding so that you have time to get more important things done. Start a spreadsheet and insert a column into your guest list document categorizing all the invitees by relationship (groom’s friends, bride’s family, groom’s family friend, etc.). This will help to sort and break down the list and then you can separate the lists into specific tables.

Traditional or not? A traditional head table is usually a long, straight table that faces all the other reception tables. The bride and groom are in the middle, the maid of honor next to the groom, the best man next to the bride, and then boy/girl out from there. Flower girls or ring bearers sit at the tables where their parents are seated. Plan seating this way or plan a sweetheart table for a little more one-on-time.

Mix it up. There are many non-traditional ways to seat your guests, it all depends on who the bride and groom want to be surrounded with. All the maids can sit on the bride’s side, and all the groomsmen on the groom’s. Another option is to let the wedding party sit at a round reception table or two with each other and/or with their dates and have the head table as a sweetheart table.

Placing the parents. Usually, your parents and the groom’s parents sit at the same table, along with grandparents, siblings not in the wedding party, and the officiant and his/her spouse. However, say the groom’s parents are divorced and would rather not sit by each other, then you might want to let each set of parents host their own table of close family/friends. Talk to the parents about it before making a final decision.

Avoid the drama. We get it- all of the family is in one room again and there may be the same bickering between Cousin Tommy and Uncle Joe every time. You have the power to keep them as far apart as possible, so do everyone a favor and seat family members or friends that do not get along away from each other. Think about these kinds of relationships before you begin making the chart.

Play cupid. Love is in the air, and weddings are a great opportunity to set up your best girl/guy friend. Mix and match your friends and your fiancé’s- you never know who could hit it off! You can also seat all of your high school or college friends together so that they can catch up.


When it comes to seating arrangements it is the best way to stay organized so that every single guest has a seat and is accounted for. A wedding reception should be a place to have a good time and to socialize. Remove the pressure from the guests using assigned wedding seating as well as the tips above and your guests will be thanking you for it!


Contact BTS Event Management for a complimentary consultation and let us be a part of your special day!


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