Seating 101

Seating Etiquette 101

7 Tips for The Perfect Seating Chart

Almost every wedding movie out there depicts the disasters that can come from seating the wrong people next to each other at the reception. Although real life is not always as dramatic per se, it’s still very important to get the seating chart right! You know that your uncle loves to talk politics, so maybe he shouldn’t sit at the same table as your—not having it—college roommate. Everyone attending your wedding is there to celebrate your love so crafting the seating chart will require some time and meticulous placement. Wondering where to even start? Don't worry! We’ve got you covered with seven things to consider when arranging seats!

Before you even get started and begin to think about where you want to sit everyone, ditch the pen and paper. We love tradition but when it comes to seating, that's not it. Trust us, you'll only be making this task 10x harder.

Photos courtesy of Chloe Ely Photography (Left), Lauren Dixon Photography (Middle), Jasmine Nicole (Right)


1. Going digital is a must. 

You’re going to be handling the guest list, the RSVPs, and the chart, so our top advice to you is to use software that holds all of that information in one place. Aisle Planner does just that with our beloved Layouts & Seating Feature for our AP wedding and event pros, in this case, you can have your cake and eat it too! Find a Pro and read more about the benefits of going digital in How to Easily Build a Wedding Seating Chart.

2. Determine Who Will Sit at the Head Table

Common arrangements: 

  • Sweetheart table—couple only 
  • Couple with members of the bridal party only 
  • Couple with parents and officiant 
  • Couple with parents and grandparents 


This table is almost always centrally located and placed prominently.                                                                  

3. Determine Family Tables

  • Each of the couple's families (Together or separate on each receptive side of the couple)
  • Bridal party tables (members of the bridal party with their respective families)


These tables generally are near the head table and also centrally located. 

Photo courtesy of Sarah Joy Photo


4. Seat Your Guests With These Tips In Mind:

  • It's always best to seat guests with similar interests and are similar in age. 
  • Seat guests together in obvious groups–college friends, co-workers, family, friends, etc. 
  • Seat Out-of-town family members together, as they may not see each other often and would welcome the chance to catch up. 
  • Tables surrounding the dance floor are considered the best tables, with the seats facing the dance floor being the best seats–seat your family, bridal party, and other VIP guests at these tables. 
  • Tables near speakers can be loud, your grandparents are not the most ideal choice. Seat younger adults here–they won't mind as much. 
  • Kids tables are fun, that way kiddos can interact with each other but it is helpful to have their parents seated nearby. 

Whether you decide to create a seating chart or seat guests by table, it’s your day and you know what will make it as smooth as possible. No matter how you decide to seat your guests, remember to honor each of them. At one point during the reception, take some time to say hello and thank your guests for celebrating this special day with you. 


Hero photo courtesy of Dear Lovers Photography

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