Your seating plan

30 May 2013

Your seating plan

Who should sit where on your wedding day? And how to avoid those tricky situations.

Image gallery

Image gallery

Creating the perfect seating plan might sound easy but ask most brides and many will tell you stories of nights sitting down and moving people from place to place because of one issue or another. If we lived in a perfect world everyone would get along; there would be no warring relatives; friends who can’t stand the sight of each other or worse still divorced parents, who expect their new partners to sit at the top table alongside. Unfortunately, the world is far from perfect. Here’s our guide to what tradition dictates and solutions to those tricky situations.


• Traditionally the bride and groom sit on a top table with their parents, chief bridesmaid and best man. The groom sits on the bride’s right, with her mother next to him; then the groom’s father followed by the chief bridesmaid. The bride’s father sits next to the bride, with the groom’s mother next to him and the best man on the end.

• But what if there’s divorced and re-married parents in the mix? Basically it’s your wedding and no-one should expect their new partner to be included on the top table. Choose instead to sit the new partner with family members they get on with. If it’s all getting too complicated how about having a top table just for two (called the sweetheart table) and asking each of the traditional members on the top table (father of the bride and his new wife for example) to ‘host’ one of your other wedding tables.

• Resist temptation to have a ‘singles’ table! Seat guests based on who they will get along with rather than their marital status.

• If you have children attending the wedding it’s a good idea to have a children’s table with extra entertainment to keep them busy; give them crayons and colouring books and put them away from doors where they can escape, get in the way of serving staff and away from the cake!

• For very young children hire a crèche service which will allow parents to relax throughout the meal and mean no wailing (hopefully) throughout the speeches.

• And what about those party animals? If you’re worried about friends who tend to get more outrageous the more they have to drink and want to avoid them heckling the speeches put their table furthest from the bar so they’re less tempted to top up their wine with beer or chasers.



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