Wedding Ceremony and Reception Seating Guide
Once you have created a guest list, you will need to work on a plan for the seating of your wedding guests. Your wedding will have the greatest likelihood of success and the smallest potential for a disaster if you carefully consider your seating arrangement .
With family, friends, and family friends all in attendance, we are here to help you understand who should sit where during your big moment.
- Sides: In traditional Christian ceremonies, the bride's family and friends sit to the left side of the aisle (when looking from back to front) and the groom's side is to the right. In Jewish tradition, the seating is the opposite.
- Ushers should be present to accompany guests to their appropriate seats . Though you may know family faces very well, you might have to tutor your ushers on who's who before the wedding day to make sure that all guests are seated appropriately.
- If one side of the family will have more guests than the other, the ushers should try to even things out by filling both sides of the venue. This way, everyone gets the best view possible.
- Family: The first four or five rows should be reserved for immediate family and special guests. Tie a ribbon across these rows to indicate that they are off-limits to all others.
- Immediate family is seated just before the ceremony starts.
- Siblings that are not in the wedding are typically seated before the grandparents. They either sit in the first row with the parents, or the second row with the grandparents.
- Ushers should start to seat the groom's family before the bride's.
- The brother(s) of the bride and groom traditionally seat their mothers. If there is no brother in the family, the "head usher" may do so.
- If the bride or groom's parents are divorced, the parent who spent more time raising the child should be seated with their partner in the first row; the other parent and their partner in the third row.
- The bride's mother is always seated last; the groom's mother is seated right before her. This signals that the wedding ceremony is about to begin.
Designing the seating plan for your reception can be very challenging, but with persistence you can find a practical arrangement that's suitable for everyone.
- How to Seat Guests: Traditionally, seating at tables should alternate by male and female.
- Where to Seat Guests: The goal (as difficult as it may be) is to TRY to make everyone happy.
- Seat close family and friends near the bride and groom. This avoids any hurt feelings.
- Make sure that all of your guests have at least one person at their table that they feel comfortable enough to chat with.
- Avoid seating families together at one table. You want to try to get your guests to mingle! Though this may be hard since you want them to be comfortable, sp you will have to try to find a nice balance.
- Think about grouping your guests at tables according to their interests. This will get some great conversation flowing!
- You can always designate a theme to each table. Include a personal story with each theme; it makes for great conversation, especially among guests meeting for the first time.
- Do avoid a table for "the singles." This is just plain awkward.
See some of our other buying guides to help you with the details of your wedding planning!