Saturday, February 13, 2010

Please Be Seated

As the bride and groom you will be the center of attention. You can opt to have the traditional head table with your wedding party seated with you, a sweethearts table, which lends itself to a more romantic setting and gives you some alone time on a day where you will undoubtedly be pulled in all directions, or you can choose to sit with your parents and close relatives. There is no right or wrong option, but simply a matter of preference. However, when it comes to seating your guests at the reception, this is often a sensitive and tedious job. Without a plan, it can be a logistical nightmare, but it doesn't have to be.

Seating arrangements are designed to encourage comfortable conversation and also to honor special guests. You want your guests to have a good time, and a well thought out seating plan will enhance your guests' enjoyment. The last thing you want to do is put your guests in the position of not knowing where to sit and having to fend for themselves for seating. Here are a few things to consider when planning your reception seating arrangements:

• Know the number of place settings per table. The last thing you want to do is complete seating assignments for tables of ten, to later find out that the tables seat eight
• As a visual aid, map out a reception floor plan so that you'll have an idea of the placement of your tables, cake, entertainment, speakers, dance floor, buffet, etc.
• Be considerate of the limitations of some guests, such as the elderly who may have trouble seeing or hearing. You want to seat them away from speakers, close to rest rooms, and in a location that they will be able to see those special moments such as the first dance
• Consider seating specific groups together, such as colleges with colleges, and teenagers with teenagers, etc.
• Make allowances for sticky family issues
• Don't try to make a love connection. Seating all of the singles together can make for an awkward situation. Consider interspersing single guests among couples who may have similar interests or common bonds
• Make sure each person knows at least 2-3 people at the table

Last piece of advice
Early in the planning process, I encourage my couples to work on their guest list, and once that is finalized, I then encourage them to work on the seating arrangements. Sure RSVP's have not come in yet, heck invitations have not even been mailed…but trust me waiting until the last minute to start your seating arrangements is a recipe for S-T-R-E-S-S.

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