The wedding reception can result in confusion for the attendants, especially if the event involves a guest list which reaches more than a hundred entries. If you plan to keep your wedding reception within a tight budget, while keeping the attendants feel accommodated and satisfied, then these following tips on proper seating arrangement may be of particular help in your purpose.
The seat plan will primarily depend upon the shape of the table which is afforded by the venue. If the venue accommodates guests with long tables, then partners are more effectively seated at opposite ends, across from each other; if round tables are provided, then naturally they will have to sit beside each other.
In order to give the reception an egalitarian feel, it is more discreet and proper to seat guests in an alternating male-female pattern. Couples who insist that they stay together (and obviously they have every right to do so) should be seated beside one another. If, however, the venue is quite limiting in accommodation space, couples should, as much as possible, at least remain in the same tables. Children should always be seated next to an adult, either a parent or a guardian.
The bride, the groom, and their entourage are supposed to be seated at the front end of the venue hall or room, at a long table, and facing the guests. It is very inappropriate for the bridal party to have their backs turned to any guest, so a rounded table is very undesirable. The order of seating for the bridal party is as follows: the newlywed couple at the middle, the maid of honor at the left hand side of the groom, the best man at the right hand side of the bride, and all the other members of the party should be seated in equal numbers on either end of the table, also in an alternating male-female pattern.
The wedding cake is more appropriately placed on a small end table at either side of the bridal party’s table, so that guests will have enough room for picture-taking, and in order for the newlywed couple to be able to face the guests when they cut the cake.
Family members, and close friends and relatives are more properly seated closest to the bridal party’s table, while the more distant friends, relatives, or acquaintances may be seated at farther tables. As much as possible, accommodate guests who are familiar with each other so they can be more comfortable. Also, make sure that you group seated guests according to their general age groups.
You can still pull off a wedding reception of a hundred guests, even without professional help, with the help of ushers and printed table plans and table place cards. The table plan should be visible enough, placed at the entrance to the reception area of the dining hall. Make sure that it large enough and hoisted on a mount which is high enough, so that all the guests can have a good look at it without having to stand at the ends of their toes, or by elbowing their way into a group.
The names of the guests should be printed beside the plan, with numbers or letter corresponding to their places in the seat plan. This reference scheme saves you all the hassle and confusion which goes with finding proper seats. Place a copy of the individual cards on the tables, each printed visibly with the person’s name.