Planning & Inspiration

Wedding Etiquette: Seating Your Guests

1000509261001_2013980530001_William-Shakespeare-The-Life-of-the-BardTo sit, or not to sit, that is the question. Well, ok maybe Shakespeare isn’t necessary for pondering the significance of who to seat where at your wedding reception. Then again, there are probably some heavier-esque things to consider. Firstly, be aware of any issues of physical ability. If grandma is in a wheelchair, be sure to seat her near an entrance/exit for easy access in case of fire, or in case of something more mundane, like needing to use the restroom. Also consider theproximity of her location to meal and beverage if you are doing a buffet-style reception. Even if she is not making her plate up herself, someone else will be no doubt assisting her, and so the distance to travel should be considered. Now remember, other family will also want to sit near her, like mom, and maybe even yourself, so you’ll have to consider her seat in relationship to other people, as well as her needs.

seating051Secondly, think of the lone wolf. We all have family members and friends, maybe people we invite for more obligatory reasons, that are loner-types. I myself have a very quiet cousin. He is a distantly-related cousin, but one I would have to invite to my wedding. I would venture to even describe this guy as anti-social. Who would I seat him with that could handle the abstinence from cheerful and festive dialogue? Who could I seat him with that would make him feel comfortable? These are all things I would need to consider, and so should you, when coming up with your seating arrangement.


Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, where will you feel most comfortable sitting? This is your special day, and people can make some accommodations. The thing to consider is keeping it balanced between your needs, and the needs of your guests. There is of course the need for grandma’s wheelchair, or how to properly place your loner cousin, but then there is also you. Would you like to be closest to the food (or open bar… wink)? To the dancefloor? Maybe you would love to be closest to the children in your ceremony because hearing them laugh keeps you calm. The choice is yours, but be sure to arrange with care. One you are seated, there is no going back!