5 Wedding Planning Rules for the Seating Chart
Wedding Planning makes you think about everyone in your whole family and all your friends — even the ones dating back to grade school that you’ve managed to keep in touch with — they all know each other, love each other, and just generally get along famously, right?
If you’re nodding your head right now and smiling in agreement, well, congratulations and lucky you! But I’m guessing that most readers may have an amused smile on their face for a different reason. Even more likely is that the expression looks more like a grimace instead of a smile.
A seating chart can be one of those aspects of wedding planning that causes a lot more angst than it really should. After all, why should other people’s hangups be allowed to put a damper on your special day? Well, just in case your nearest and dearest don’t share that same perspective (and you can’t count on them to play nice with their mortal enemies (or frenemies) for one day), here are some tips to help you keep the peace:
Wedding Planning Rule Number 1
Ditch Processional Rules if Necessary
There’s a saying about couples that goes “Do you want to be right or do you want to be in a relationship?” Sometimes you have to give up the idea of being right, in order to have harmony with another person who thinks differently than you. Wedding event professionals may tell you that the wedding party and families need to be seated at tables according to the way that they are announced as they enter the reception venue. However, if you know you’ve got people who don’t get along, forget about order. It may look a little less organized when pairs have to split up and zigzag to their seat, but so what? You’re giving up a few minutes of order for a whole evening of peace.
Wedding Planning Rule Number 2
Keep Parents on Both Sides Equally Close to the Bride & Groom Table
Avoid prompting any guilt-inducing pouts from immediate family members by ensuring that neither side of the family has better access to the wedding table than the other. You’ll have your whole lives together to weather the inevitable intra-family squabbles down the line — no need to give them a head start by stoking the possible flames for future arguments.
Wedding Planning Rule Number 3
Consider Letting People Choose Their Own Seats
You’ve got enough on your plate on your wedding day and on all the days leading up to it. Trying to organize a seating chart for dissenting factions of family and friends is really one extra headache you can do without. If you’re open to taking a laissez-faire attitude about the whole thing, give your guests the opportunity to be adults and work seating arrangements out on their own. Consider it good practice for handling the arguments that your future kids will have.
Wedding Planning Rule Number 4
If Members of the Wedding Party Don’t Get Along, Seat them at Opposite Ends of the Bridal Party Table
When you know that members of your bridal party can’t be left to their own devices to play nice with people they don’t like, by all means make a seating chart that keeps adversaries as far apart as possible. If one table isn’t big enough to keep a wide berth between them, consider having two long adjoining tables for the wedding party and seat those who don’t get along at opposite ends.
In the end, there’s only so much you can do to monitor other people’s behavior. Ultimately, don’t forget that this is your special day and, once the planning is done, your main job is to relax, celebrate and enjoy relishing the beginning of your new married life.