After all the work it takes to put together draft one, two, and three of your guest list, you’re then expected to also create seating arrangements, too. This is an important part of wedding planning, since it’s a delicate area where you don’t want to offend anyone, or arrange an awkward match at a table. The last thing you want is your brother’s crass, loud-mouthed best friend next to your fiancé’s conservative grandparents.
Here are some common seating arrangement mistakes that we’ve noticed couples making during wedding planning:
Seating Guests With People They Don’t Know
In theory, it makes sense: by putting guests together with strangers, they’ll have to become friends, right? This is the thought, but very often it just doesn’t work. Your guests will sit through an awkward or forced-small talk meal, silently wishing that they were seated with at least one person they know. “Seated with strangers” is an old-fashioned seating tradition that needs to be retired. There will be plenty of time for new friendships to be forged during the reception.
Not Having A Seating Arrangement At All
Lots of couples—especially “go with the flow” couples—don’t bother with seating arrangements, and feel like by allowing guests to choose, everyone will be happy and just sit with friends they know. However, at a wedding, guests actually want to be directed on what to do. No one wants to misstep or do anything wrong at such an important occasion, and having name cards and a seating arrangement is actually very appreciated. Otherwise it can take guests too long to figure out what to do, and it can also clog up the end of the buffet line (if you’re having a buffet). It’s much easier to simply direct guests on where to sit.
When making your seating arrangements, it’s important to remember if any family members or friends don’t get along so that you can seat them apart from one another. It may sound silly, but weddings have been the scene for some epic family fights, due to built-up tension and alcohol. Whatever you do, don’t try to force them to sit together so that they will “have to make up”. Let them do that in their own time.
Trying To Play Matchmaker
If you’re thinking about just throwing all your single friends at one table together in hopes that some new relationships will blossom…don’t. Not only will this probably embarrass them, it will also take away from quality time they could be spending with the people that they already know at your wedding.
Making The Seating Arrangement Too Late
Although this is one of the wedding planning details that can be done last on the list, be careful not to push it too far. As your wedding date approaches, you’re going to want to have less to do. Go ahead and make a quick seating arrangement draft shortly after your guest list is finalized—while everyone is fresh in your mind. There’s always time for changes, and it’s best to get at least one draft done sooner rather than later.
Watch the video below for more common wedding seating arrangement mistakes:
At Imperial Banquet Hall, we are experts in the field of wedding planning. We can help you in every aspect of your wedding, from catering to entertainment to seating plans. If you’re looking for a beautiful Los Angeles venue for your wedding, take a look at what we have to offer! Check out our photo gallery, or feel free to ask about our availability. We look forward to hearing from you!