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Making a seating chart?  Whether you have a formal seated dinner or a buffet, some couples find it easiest for everyone to assign seating. Just remember, that if you choose to do this, you need to take care because, by choosing seats, you are also determining the experience your guests will have.  If you seat your best friend next to your crazy Aunt Bertha, don't expect her to be returning your calls anytime soon. Here are a few helpful tips to help you best navigate the world of seating charts:

  1. We've all seen it in movies, but actually make a map of the venue.  Looking at a seating chart only by table could lead to unintentional problems, such as seating your father's new wife within striking distance of your mother's very direct sister.  It may seem silly, but visuals help.
  2. When making your map include where you want things like buffet tables and the dj set up.  Also note things like stairs or narrow walkways, and keep these things in mind when assigning guests in wheelchairs, or those with mobility issues.
  3. Know your guests.  For those guests on the groom's side, ask him and his family for seating suggestions.  The feud between the Smith cousins may be so longstanding that it doesn't occur to them that you wouldn't know about it.
  4. Be aware of your friends. Only you know if your single friends would like a singles table. For the bulk of people, singles tables are awkward and even a little offensive.  It's usually good to make a good mix of marital status at each table.  If you want to set two friends up, at least give them the benefit of some married buffers, just in case it's not the insta-connection you expect it to be.
  5. Exceptions to the "mix-it up rule" above: tables for elderly relatives and, if you have invited children, family tables.
  6. Don't put random guests with a group of your close friends, who are just going to end up reminiscing and telling inside jokes all night.

Photo Credit: SMS Photography