Today's Bride

Seating Plans for your Wedding


Seating can be some tricky business for guests at your wedding. Where can they sit? Where should they sit? It’s important to clearly mark the seating arrangements with signs and to clarify which seats are reserved for your family.

Ceremony Seating Arrangements

Reserved arrangements for family | Jadie Foto | As Seen on

Jadie Foto

Open Seating Plan

Place a sign at the entrance of your ceremony informing guests that they can sit wherever they want. There are a lot of creative and adorable signs that you can make to place at the entrance. Pinterest is filled with so many cute ideas to make your sign playful, while telling guests they can sit where they please.

Help from Ushers

If you chose to have a bride side and a groom side at the ceremony, we suggest you ask a few groomsmen or close friends to be the ushers. This will ensure everyone is sitting on the correct side and will avoid confusion. They will also help to make sure the sides are as even as possible. The most important thing is to make sure there are enough seats for everyone. It might even be a good idea to have a few extra seats just in case cousin Louie brings a date even though he did not receive a plus one.

The most important thing is to make sure there are enough seats for everyone. It might even be a good idea to have a few extra seats just in case cousin Louie brings a date even though he did not receive a plus one.

Reserved arrangements for family | Artistic Photography by Glenda | As seen on

Artistic Photography by Glenda

Reserved Family Seating

It’s important to clearly mark which seats are for your family members. The mother-of-the-bride should be escorted in by an usher before the wedding party starts its procession down the aisle, so advise the usher on which seat will be hers. Grandparents should be seated in the front row next to the parents. The second row is usually reserved for more extended family members – like aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Reception Seating Arrangements

Seating Chart Sign | Karen Menyhart Photography | As seen on

Karen Menyhart Photography

Even if you decided not to have a seating plan for the ceremony, we highly recommend one for the reception. This is the social part of your wedding, so you do not want people to stress about if they get to sit next to the only person they know or not. If you start planning your seating chart early, it will not be too stressful trying to place people where they would have the best time.

Check out this blog for the Importance of Seating Charts and Escort Cards.

Reserved Family Seating

When planning your seating arrangements, make sure that the tables closest to the wedding party table are reserved for family. You can have assigned seating for where each family member sits, or allow them to choose their own seats within the reserved tables. Usually the parents sit together at a table with the grandparents, and any other close family or friends. However, if your parents are divorced, it is more than okay to place them at separate tables.

Singles and Children

Children coloring | Cleveland Photo Group | As seen on

Cleveland Photo Group

When seating the rest of your friends and family, feel free to mix it up. Put a few friends at a table with strangers. They will have fun getting to know each other! If there are a lot of kids at your reception, seat them at a “kids table,” with a paper tablecloth and crayons or markers. You could even supply them with activity books! If there are not many children attending, they should be seated with their parents. You may also want to have an overflow table for those surprise guests who RSVP’d that they couldn’t make it but got a last minute flight in!

Keep in mind that people will get up and mingle as they please. They typically only sit to eat and for toasts. As long as you start the seating chart early, and keep everyone’s best interest in mind, there should be no family feuds in the middle of the best man’s speech.

Thinking about ceremony and reception seating can get overwhelming. You don’t want to place Aunt Linda next to Aunt Stacy when they have been in a feud for 15 years over who gets the gravy boat in grandma’s will. Use these tips and place your guests thoughtfully to ensure your guests have a great time!


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