One of the most challenging aspects of wedding planning is the dreaded floor plan and seating chart. What should be simple (divide number of guests by 6 or 8 or 10, arrange accordingly), is usually a complete nightmare. Uncle Jim can’t sit with Cousin Debbie – they haven’t spoken since 2008. Your college roommate refuses to sit anywhere near her ex-boyfriend. Great-Grandpa needs to be close to the restrooms, and Aunt Peggy insists that she be put right next to the bar. And every venue has its own dimensions and limitations as to where tables can be arranged. Yikes! It’s enough to drive anyone crazy.
One of the hardest things about the seating chart and floor plan is just getting started. And the best way to get started is to decide where the newlyweds are going to sit at the reception. Once you decide on that, it’s a bit easier to determine where everyone else belongs.
There are a few different seating options for the newlyweds. The most common is the traditional head table, where the newlyweds will sit with their attendants.
- Pros: It’s tradition, the bridal party will be the center of attention
- Cons: The long, one-sided table makes conversation difficult (you can only really speak with the people on either side of you), bridesmaids and groomsmen who brought dates or significant others won’t be able to sit with them at the reception.
A two-sided head table is a more contemporary option.
- Pros: Conversation is easier than at a traditional head table. There may be room for the attendants’ dates.
- Cons: Half of the people sitting at the table have their back to the room.
Another option is the sweetheart table, where the newlyweds have a romantic table to themselves.
- Pros: The newlyweds might actually get a chance to eat! And all eyes will be on them.
- Cons: They don’t get to sit with their friends and family.
- Pros: It’s flexible – the newlyweds can sit with their attendants, with family, with whomever they like. It’s also the most social option and makes conversation easy.
- Cons: It could be very noisy, and the newlyweds may not get a chance to eat, due to too many nearby guests trying to give their best wishes.
There is no right or wrong option when it comes to newlywed seating – it all depends on you, your guests, your venue, your budget, and your vision of how you want your wedding to be.
What seating option do you think is best for you and your wedding?