How to Create Your Optimum Seating Plan

For most brides-to-be, the seating plan is one of the most stressful and complicated aspects of a wedding. Some have described it as trying to do a sudoku, but with people’s feelings.

Here’s how to make it a bit more manageable

Remember that it’s one of the last things you have to do – you have to wait for all the RSVPs after all, but don’t leave it until the last minute. You’ll have some sure-fire attendees, so you can work out a skeleton early on and fit in the late-responders as they come in.

Wedding receptions do end

The sit-down parts of most receptions last for 90 minutes or thereabouts. This means you don’t have to stress too much about those cousins sitting near to one another. They can stop bickering for that long. Hopefully.

Mix up old friends and out-of-towners with your nearest and dearest

This serves two purposes – it dilutes any tensions and means you don’t have a table full of strangers struggling for conversation. Seat your nervous old college mate with your talkative – result.

The science bit

Round tables

Most round wedding tables are 60 inches across and you need a minimum of six guests around them. Any fewer and it’s too empty-feeling and doesn’t encourage conversation. Eight is the best number – everyone can pull in to the table to talk but still have room to eat comfortably.

Rectangular tables


Most rectangular tables are 72 inches by 30 inches and you can put six people on them, or eight if you use the narrow ends.

Remember the layout

People often forget to leave enough room between tables for guests and waiting staff to walk. You need at least 60 inches between tables – there’s chairs in between them, remember. You also need to leave at least 30 inches between a table and a wall.


Create a chart

There’s a few fancy software programmes to help with this, but most people use paper – to scale – and write guest names on mini Post-It Notes. Once you’ve got your best layout, make a spreadsheet as it’s a bit more portable and less prone to flaking off!

Ask your nearest and dearest for input

They might have some good insights. They do know you, after all…

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