If you wish for your wedding to go as smooth as possible without incident, you will want to create a seating plan for your guests. Once you have received your final head count and all guests have responded, you will need to sit down with your groom to be (and possibly both families) to decide on where to seat your guests.
First draw up a floor plan of your reception area, or ask your caterer if they have a copy of the floor plan or recommendations for seating. You will need to know the location of the head table, podium (if there is one), guest tables, cake table, receiving tables for the guest book and escort cards, gift table, DJ or Band location, dance floor, bar area and location of the kitchen.
Here are some suggestions on how to seat your guests:
1) Seat guests with similar interests and ages together
2) Seat work colleagues together. Guests will be much more comfortable sitting with people they know.
3) Seat elderly guests away from the speakers, dance floor, kitchen doors or any area where there may be a lot of movement or loud noises which may interfer with their conversations.
4) Seat disabled guests close to an exit
5) Family and close friends should sit close to the head table
6) Guests making any speeches should sit close to the podium or microphone stand.
7) If you are having children attend, very young children should sit with their parents. If you have several older children you can seat them at a back table with activities to keep them occupied.
8) Avoid seating guests together if they have a known conflict. It will not only make the conflicting people feel uncomfortable, but the entire table will feel the vibe and be uncomfortable too.
9) No matter what, every couple winds up with some guests that they are not sure where to place. Avoid putting all these strangers together at the same table. Try to scatter and insert these people at tables where there are outgoing people.
Once you have finalized your seating assignments you need to convey the seating to your guests. First number or name each table. Then create a seating chart or use escort cards with the names and table numbers for each guest. Display your escort cards in alphabetical order in a location where they will be visible as your guests arrive.
If you wish to have your guests sit in a certain order at each table, then you will also need to prepare place cards. Each seat should have one place card at each place setting. Traditionally, place settings alternate between male and female guests, but there will always be exceptions to this rule. The best advice is to seat people in a manner which promotes conversation and a easy going environment.
Article Copyright 2007, Erica Tevis, Little Things Wedding Favors
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