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Wedding Receptions: Do I Need a Seating Chart?

Oct 11, 2007
Planning a wedding and the following reception following is hard work. Do you really need a seating chart for your reception? Would it not be easier to simply throw the doors open and let your guests worry about who is going to sit where? Of course it would be easier, but you will find that in many cases the overall success of the evening will be greater with at least some seating plan.

Brides who have decided that they did not need a seating chart have often found too late that Aunt Jane, who refuses to get hearing aids because she says they make her look old, ended up sitting at a table in the back and missed the entire evening because she could not hear.

Brides who have decided they did not need a seating chart have found that while her grandparents did manage to get seated close to the front, her new husband's grandmother did not and she is not happy about it. Do I need to remind you that could ruin your wedding party?

Other examples of the consequences of deciding there was no need for a seating chart at the wedding reception are guests leaving early because their family ended up sitting at four different tables, or tables where no one knows anyone and as a result does not talk and therefore no one is truly enjoying the celebration that you worked so hard to plan.

Truly, you do need to assign seating in some form if you are having any more formal of a reception than wedding cake, nuts, and punch. The real question is how elaborate you need to get in your designing your seating plan. The bigger the reception and the more unfamiliar the guests are with one another the more detail you will need in your seating chart.

For example, in a small wedding where both sides of the family grew up together and ran in the same social circles you might only need to assign tables for close family members to make sure that your dear grandma is close by to celebrate with you or to make sure that Aunt Dorothy does not get her nose out of joint and start a family war at your wedding.

On the other hand, it is often helpful to design a seating chart that assigns everyone a table while leaving the specific seating arrangement up to the individuals at each table. This can work well as long as you can seat guests together who already know each other and freely intermingle.

Often, however, brides find upon reflection that they need to assign a specific seat to each guest. This enables them to place each guest where they are most likely to find maximum enjoyment which, of course, is the whole point - and why you need a seating chart.
About the Author
Jeanette Shinn is a wedding professional with over a dozen years experience making dreams come alive. Find tips like how to plan a seating chart to wedding accessories such as beautiful sun catcher wedding favors at http://www.ExcitingWeddingFavors.com.
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