Reception Seating Chart Organization

The Effective Use Of Place Cards

Not all wedding receptions require a seating chart at a sit-down dinner. What are your options? They can include either assigning guests to tables only, assigning guests to specific seats at a table by using wedding place cards to guide them, or allowing guests to sit wherever they choose. If you assign guests to specific seats or tables, choosing wedding napkins that match the wedding place cards can echo your sense of style at the table.

The Case For Using Seating Charts

Most guests attending wedding receptions with a meal are attending for several hours. Of course you want them to be comfortable and happy during the events of the day, as well as enjoy the people they will be sharing it with. Further, relieving guests from having to find their own seating can increase their overall pleasure at the reception festivities. Since the most important thing from a guest’s point of view is to be comfortable, seating organizational charts can be a god-send, as can specific wedding place cards that let them know where they will be.

The Head Table

Even the head table benefits from organization, which naturally includes wedding place cards, and is still the most common protocol at a dining wedding reception with a sit-down dinner. The typical arrangements are as follows:

  • Bridesmaid—Groomsman—Maid of Honor—Groom—Bride—Best Man—Bridesmaid—Groomsman.

Additional Table Arrangements

  • Tables closest to the head table should be reserved for family members and closes friends of the bride and groom. This may involve several tables and seating arrangements can include one family at an individual table or mixing the bride and groom’s family members between tables if they are comfortable with one another.
  • Creating a mix of family groups, with an entire family at a specific table is best. They will feel comfortable in their own company, while being encouraged to ‘mingle’ and meet other folks they may not know well or at all. An additional tip in this scenario is to combine people by age and/or interest for compatibility and optimal interaction.
  • Seating singles can be a challenge. While you don’t want to create a specific single’s table, having a mix of singles at tables with other families or couples of like interests or avocations, creates a natural compatibility and enthusiasm.
  • For round tables, the general protocol is to alternate male and female guests. When using long tables, seat couple pairs opposite one another while alternating genders down the table.
  • When assigning guests to a specific seat, you will use wedding place cards with their name on them. Many weddings also include menu choices individuals may have selected in advance.
  • If not assigning specific seats but assigning tables only, use either a number system or a theme name for each table. Guests will pick up their table assignment when entering the reception and will seat themselves accordingly. This style is often used at dining buffet style receptions.