Some Wedding Thoughts: Wedding Reception Seating

Creating your wedding reception hall seating chart can be a long, stressful task. You want to be sure your guests are seated with people they know, to ensure they’ll have an enjoyable time during your celebration. When choosing the seating arrangements for your wedding reception, there are many factors to take into consideration. A seating chart, though, isn’t very useful if guests can not find their seats easily. At the reception, be sure to use place cards, post an attractive seating diagram, and/or have staff or volunteers direct people to their seats.

Hearts Desire Seating Cards My Heart’s Desire seating cards are convenient for guests and add a touch of elegance to your reception tables. They are personalized with the bride and groom’s first names, wedding date, a blank line for you to write in the name of the guest and a place to put the table number. Design is printed in matte ink on white cardstock.

Wings of Love Seating Cards Enjoy this seating card as do the two blue birds in love that are perched on together for ever.

Ravishing Seating Cards Feature your last name initial as part of the background design. They are personalized with your first names, wedding date, a blank line for you to write in the name of the guest and a place to put the table number.

Victoria Damask Seating Cards Add a touch of class to your reception tables. They’re personalized with your first names, wedding date, a blank line for you to write in the name of the guest and a place to put the table number.

Here are some of the tip guidelines I have found for taking the stress out of designing your seating chart:


Make a map or chart of the tables and seats, with space to write names at each place setting. Make sure that there is room on your chart for simple notes about your guests. On your map, include the location of the buffet tables, the cake, the musicians, disc jockeys, and so on. Make multiple copies of the map if you like to work things out on paper and compare versions side-by-side. Another option is to create your seating map using a drawing, charting, or wedding-planning software. There are several templates on the internet, just type in a basic search for this and there will be multiple options. This may allow you more flexibility in moving guests easily.

Mix Up Table Sizes and Shapes

There’s no rule saying you have to have all round tables identical in size. Today’s wedding reception room layout features some round tables, some lengthier rectangular tables, larger rounds and more options to allow you easier seating of natural groups.

Allow More Elbow Room

Seat 8 guests at a table that is marked as seating 10, or 10 guests at a table for 12 to allow for roomier spacing and more enjoyable eating.

Fill In the Easy Seats

Those people who, by tradition, are seated in predetermined places. This includes the bride and groom, the wedding party, and close relatives.

Seat Younger Guests Who are Likely to Dance, Closer to the Dance Floor

When a song they love begins, they won’t need to race past dozens of other guest tables to get to the dance floor.

Young Children

Children tend to be better behaved when their parents are right next to them, cutting their food, keeping them entertained. Place families with young children away from eye-catching distractions. Consider seating families close to exits or entry rooms so that the parents can discretely leave the reception should the need arise.

Needs of Your Guests

Be aware of guests who may have special seating preferences or needs, or who may not enjoy being seated with certain guests. Seat older guests far from the speakers. Older guests say they enjoy being seated at a place that allows them easier access to food, and a shorter walk, to the restrooms. Some guests may use a walker or wheelchair and they need to be able to reach their assigned table easily.


Couples should be seated together. Singles need not be seated at singles only tables, which can be awkward, but can be seated amongst families and couples. When seating singles, consider who they know amongst the guests, what interests they share with guests they haven’t met, and so on.

Tables vs. Seats

You may wish to assign guests to tables instead of seats. This offers guests more flexibility in choosing whom to sit by, and saves you the agonizing politics of assigning conversation partners.


Don’t feel obliged to seat members of the bride’s family or groom’s family together exclusively. Mixing the two families is a great way to help everyone get to know each other and build future relationships.

Seat Divorced Parents at Their Own Tables

Provide comfort and calm for parents who are divorcing or recently divorced by giving them their own parents’ tables in your reception venue. If a parent is bringing a date, which might hurt the other parent, seat them in front-view areas but not at tables directly next to one another.

The Divide

There’s no rule saying the groom’s guests need to sit on one side of the room, the bride’s side on the other, with the dance floor in between. Many wedding guest lists aren’t even splits between the bride’s and groom’s guests, so feel free to seat guests according to their needs instead.


Don’t forget to set aside a table where your reception team (servers, coordinators, etc.) can eat and relax when they are not performing their duties.

Careful vision, planning, and follow-through can ensure that guests enjoy your reception to its fullest potential.