With your Guest List sorted and your invitations sent out, you might think you’re out of the woods. No more arguments about whether or not Cousin Penny’s new partner makes the cut? You’re sorted… Right?
Well, not quite. We hate to break it to you, but once the RSVPs start to come flooding in, you’ll have another challenge to face: creating your wedding seating plan.
We know it’s not the answer you want, but all we can say is… It depends! What vibe are you going for? If you want to create a more relaxed atmosphere, long rectangular tables can be a good option as they allow guests to chat more easily. On the other hand, you could opt for traditional round tables, which work especially well if your Guest List is divided into clear groups – or if you want to encourage guests to mix.
Whatever table layout you’re going for, we recommend seating guests according to your relationship with them. There’s no “one size fits all” here, but working through this list from “nearest to top table” to “furthest from top table” is a great place to start.
1. The Top Table
Start off with the top table, which is usually a long table facing the rest of the guests. Here, you’ll find you and your partner, along with your parents and the very closest members of your wedding party (the best man or woman, maid or man of honour, or similar).
2. Immediate Family
Any immediate family should be sat at the table nearest to you and your partner – most likely your siblings, if you have them.
3. The Wedding Party
Any bridesmaids, ushers or other members of your wedding party should also be prioritised for a seat near the top table.
4. Extended Family
Next up is your extended family: your grandparents, uncles, aunties and cousins. If any of your other relatives have travelled especially far to be at your wedding, consider including them here too.
5. Close Friends
Any close friends who didn’t make your wedding party come in around the same place as your extended family.
Look, you shouldn’t usually rank your friends… But you might have to make an exception! The A List are in your wedding party and we’ve just dealt with the B List, so this is the C List – plus any acquaintances or friends of your parents you felt obligated to invite!
If you’ve invited your colleagues, it tends to be a good idea to put them all on the same table as they may not know many of your other guests. If you’re super close to your colleagues, bump them up to sit somewhere between your “close friends” and “regular friends”. But for most people, colleagues come in last place.