Oh the woes of seating arrangements! I bet you’re asking yourself, “Should I do a seating chart? How do I tackle this? Where do I start?” First things first: Decide what type of feel you are going for at your reception. Are you looking for a traditional, formal reception or more of a casual, mingle reception? What type of food is being served? If you’re doing heavy appetizers you can get away with open seating but a plated dinner requires assigned tables, and maybe even assigned seats! What is your guest count looking like? Anything over 50 people needs some sort of seating arrangement. Answering these questions will help determine whether open seating, assigned tables, or assigned seats will be best. From our experience, we’ve seen a little bit of everything. Here are some general seating arrangement ideas to help guide you in creating the best atmosphere for guests to relax and enjoy themselves!
Make the place card table visible!
There is nothing worse than guests having awkward first moments in the venue. Provide guests with an easy to find table near the entrance of the venue that is quick to read and comprehend.
Place cards should always be organized alphabetically!
Do NOT organize your seating arrangement presentation by table #’s. It will lengthen the searching process – especially when you have a large guest count and 200 names to filter through! Doing it alphabetically will keep the line moving and guests will be satisfied with its ease.
Make sure the table numbers are visible!
Make sure table numbers are large, easy to see, read and find! Also be sure they are facing the direction guests will be walking in at.
Table conversation is key!
Try and put atleast a few people who know each other together at a guest table to jumpstart convo. Mixing a few familiar faces and a few new ones will create a great mingling environment throughout the reception.
Obtain a layout from the venue
Before making seating arrangements, be sure to ask your venue for a layout of the reception space. Getting a feel for how many tables will fit comfortably in a given area early will help you plan out seating decisions later on.
Elderly vs. DJ Speakers
Who would have thought – Elders and loud, bumping music speakers don’t go together! Think through your layout and try to keep the elders on the opposite end of the DJ’s speakers so the sound doesn’t overwhelm them. You’ll want all guests to be comfortable; this is just another thing to think about!
Have a kid’s table at the reception!
Have a separate table just for the kids if you have several children over the age of 7. Be sure to check out one of my previous posts giving you the best insight on how to tackle kids at your reception!
Be sure to mix the families!
Especially if you decide to have a dance floor in the middle of the venue that separates the guests, be sure to mix his and her’s families to create more of a celebration and togetherness among the different families.
Contact us for more advice on more seating arrangement tips! It’s something you’ll want to take the time on and have it be just right!