One of the most dreaded wedding-related tasks for every couple is coming up with the seating arrangements for the reception. The bigger your event, the harder it can be to figure out where to seat everyone in a way that will work for the room, and make all of your guests happy. Before you let it drive you crazy, check out these eight ways to seat your guests without breaking a sweat.
1. Start early. This is not something you want to wait until the last minute to do. As soon as your RSVP dates passes, sit down with your fiancé and anyone else that can help and tackle this task head on. Procrastinating will only add more stress to the situation.
2. Divide and conquer. It might be easiest for you to divvy up the guest list–bride’s side and groom’s side–and then you can each figure out where to seat your side of the family and your own set of friends.
3. Ask for help. Don’t hesitate to ask your parents for some guidance. After all, they probably know better than anyone who in the family gets along (and doesn’t), where your older relatives would like to be seated, etc.
4. Use technology. Sites like www.toptableplanner.com allows you to design your wedding floor plan and create an online seating chart that can easily be changed as RSVPs come in and you get closer to your date.
5. Assign tables, not seats. Don’t add to your workload by assigning the actual seating arrangements at every table. Simply assign guests a table number and then allow them to figure out who sits down next to whom.
6. Group guests based on relationships. For example, seat all of your work friends at one table, college pals at another, etc. Aunts and uncles can sit together, while your first cousins can be at another table. This is a quick way to assign seating without overthinking it.
7. Seat younger people closest to the dance floor. It makes sense to seat your younger guests (like friends and cousins) near the dance floor since they will probably be utilizing it more than your much older relatives. On the same note, don’t seat your grandparents, aunts, uncles or anyone in the “older” generation near the entertainment. They will probably spend more time at their tables and won’t want to have to scream over the music in order to speak to one another.
8. Keep frenemies separated. Although it might be a pain, make sure any friends or family members who don’t get along away from one another. Your wedding is not the time to test the waters to see if these people can get along or behave themselves for just one night. Better safe than sorry!