A wedding is intended to be a joyous celebration, and you will want your guests to have a great time. Coordinating the perfect seating plan for the reception will go a long way toward putting your wedding guests at ease. Consider these simple tips when making your seating plan.
Check your venue. Confirm the shape (round or rectangle), size and number of available tables at your party venue. Ask how many guests each table and the venue will comfortably accommodate. Remember that while you may want as many guests as possible to attend, you also want them to be seated comfortably.
Keep in touch with guests. Depending on the number of guests attending your wedding party, it is unlikely that you will be able to speak to them all on a frequent basis before the event, but do try to stay abreast of what is happening in their lives. You should refrain from seating people next to each other where you are aware of any tensions or awkwardness. Similarly, if you know that two or more people get along particularly well, you can seat them together.
Plan carefully. A seating plan needs to be carefully considered, so use the appropriate tools. A spreadsheet is a great way to do this, as you can categorize all the guests. Identify whether somebody is a family member or friend and whether his or her primary relationship is with the bride or groom. Identify children, so that you can avoid splitting families up and so that you can ensure there is a good balance of people at every table.
Get the best from people. Remember that the idea is to get the best out of your guests, so how you then plan the seating depends on a number of factors. Couples will not appreciate being split up, for example, but it could also be awkward to mix a group of the bride's friends up with the groom's distant relatives. Do not be afraid to have several attempts before finalizing the plan, and remember that you can make revisions at the last minute if you need to.
Consider the head table. The head table at the party is normally bound by convention. It will normally sit at the front of the room, facing all the other tables. Here you will seat the bride and groom in the middle, with the maid-of-honor and best man either side, followed by a boy/girl arrangement thereafter. Of course, you do not have to follow convention, and you can seat people however you like. Remember, though, that some people (for example, the bride's mother) may be expecting a seat at this table and you may offend her by not offering it.