Wedding Seating can be the most stressful part of wedding planning

wedding seating plan top tableDeciding on a seating plan can be one of the most stressful parts of your wedding planning due to the feedback from guests when the plan is discussed pre-wedding.

There will nearly always be some who are not happy about where they’ve been seated and who they have been seated next to. This can be especially tricky when it comes to deciding who sits on the top table where seating is limited.

wedding seating - top table Guests also tend to be of the opinion the closer you are to the bride and groom to closer you’re seated to them, so the further away you are …… can to them speak volumes. Of course as a bride and groom we know that is NOT the case as planning seating is hugely difficult to arrange given all the factors you need to consider.

Problems that may arise re Top Table seating

Due to the limited number of seats available around top table, someone who expects to be there won’t be. This is more likely to be the case with extended families, families with divorced, separated parents and new partners and so on.

Consider this scenario. You have your mum and dad at thwedding seating plan e wedding but they’re no longer married to each other. You want them both seated at the top table but don’t have room for their new partners. This leaves a problem for the partners as they will likely not be happy to not be seated next to the person they came with. Where do you seat the new partner and who do you seat them with? 

Should you separate the couple at all?

It’s  a tricky situation and not one that wedding etiquette dictates an answer to. Ideally the new partner is very mature and understanding and will happily sit on a nearby table without fuss.

A solution to the top table dilemma

Instead of having a wedding top table, have a centre table for the bride and groom and their children. Surrounding this table can be tables with the parents and other bridal party members and their invited families. Extending beyond this you have other tables for guests. This way no one table is ‘furthest’ from the bride and groom as they will occupy the same distance from the couple as many other guests.

If you have experience of Top Table seating issues, please comment below with how you handled the situation and what happened next!

Real Story

My own mum was the ‘new partner’ at her partner’s daughter’s wedding a few years ago. She wasn’t able to join him on the journey to the church or venue ( the father of the bride was with the mother of the bride, his ex in the bride’s car) . She also didn’t get to sit with him in the church or at the reception. This left her feeling somewhat isolated as she wasn’t familiar with the bride or grooms family and friends. As the bride and groom had opted for the traditional wedding plan – this was unavoidable due to space. If there had been space I am sure she would have been accomodated as there was no ill will towards her.

Flexible Seating – pros and cons

Unmarked tables which allow people to sort out their own seating are one way to avoid quarrels regarding who has been seated where because everyone recognises that it’s a first come first serve scenario. the problem with this is its a bit like reserving a sunbed on holiday. There will be a rush for a ‘good table’ and there is of course the worry that some won’t be seated as there are single chairs dotted about the place that people don’t and won’t sit on because they don’t know the other guests at that table.

Real Story

This is what happened to myself and some friends. We missed out on the sit down meal as there were no chairs left at tables where we could sit together. So we didn’t sit and eat. Even worse was at my own wedding. I had to ask a guest to move so I could sit next to my new husband! I kid yee not!! In summary, ‘sit where you like’ tables don’t always work out any better than planned seating.

Weddings are one of those times when it’s impossible to please everyone and you really do spend a lot of time trying. Remember though it is YOUR day and you deserve to enjoy it. Remind those who forget this when you reveal your plans. Be prepared for some resistance.

One thing you will need if you have a seating plan is a way to communicate it to your guests. check out these wedding seating charts you can customize online and wedding table place cards, table numbers etc.

Everything shown here is available printed and shipped in the UK too, just go to the UK version of site HERE

  • 20 Table Large Wedding Seating Chart Poster
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  • Black Monogram Wedding Reception Seating Chart Poster
  • Merchant:Zazzle
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  • Black and White Wedding Seating Chart for 300 Poster
  • Merchant:Zazzle
  • Description:This customizable Black and White Wedding Seating Chart for 300 Poster is designed on the poster and would interest those who like wedding, monogram, brideand groom, seating chart, wedding seating chart, modern, and elegant wedding seating chart stuff.
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  • Gold Black Hollywood Glitz Glam Seating Chart Poster
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  • Wedding Seating Chart Poster Floral Peony Design
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  • Description:This customizable Wedding Seating Chart Poster Floral Peony Design is designed on the poster and would interest those who like wedding, bride, groom, monogram, peony, peonies, and seating stuff.
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  • Wedding Seating Chart Poster Vintage Glam Design
  • Merchant:Zazzle
  • Description:This customizable Wedding Seating Chart Poster Vintage Glam Design is designed on the poster and would interest those who like wedding, monogram, seating, chart, guest, guests, and table stuff.
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  • Black Red White Monogram Wedding Seating Chart 150 Poster
  • Merchant:Zazzle
  • Description:This customizable Black Red White Monogram Wedding Seating Chart 150 Poster is designed on the poster and would interest those who like wedding, seating chart, wedding seating chart, monogram, seating plan, wedding seating plan, and initial stuff.
  • Price: $19.40
  • Art Deco Wedding Seating Chart Gatsby Style Poster
  • Merchant:Zazzle
  • Description:This customizable Art Deco Wedding Seating Chart Gatsby Style Poster is designed on the poster and would interest those who like wedding, seating, chart, monogram, monograms, plan, and reception stuff.
  • Price: $17.80
  • Reserved table or seating sign card for place
  • Merchant:Zazzle
  • Description:This customizable Reserved table or seating sign card for place is designed on the card and would interest those who like wedding, marriage, place, placement, sign, reserved, and reserved seating stuff.
  • Price: $2.55
  • Modern Calligraphy Seat Plan Wedding Sign Card
  • Merchant:Zazzle
  • Description:This customizable Modern Calligraphy Seat Plan Wedding Sign Card is designed on the invitation and would interest those who like wedding, black, modern calligraphy, calligraphy, script, typography, and wedding sign stuff.
  • Price: $1.95
  • Escort Place Card Gold Vintage Glam
  • Merchant:Zazzle
  • Description:This customizable Escort Place Card Gold Vintage Glam is designed on the invitation and would interest those who like deco, seating, place, escort, folded, wedding, and elegant stuff.
  • Price: $1.75
  • Mini Eiffel Tower Place Card Holders
  • Merchant:Beau-coup.com
  • Description:These elegant mini eiffel tower place card holders make perfect wedding favors for couples jet-setting to France for a destination wedding. These finely detailed, silver-finish replica of the eiffel tower holders can be used as place card holders or as we
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