9 of the Toughest Wedding Seating Arrangement Problems Solved 

Some newlyweds will tell you that the hardest part of wedding planning was creating the seating chart — no, seriously!

And that’s exactly why we’re sharing simple solutions to nine super common seating problems. You can thank us later…

wedding seating arrangement
Photo by Dave Lapham

Problem: You and your new spouse can’t decide who to sit with.
Solution: The best decision is no decision! If you’re not psyched about the head table (with your wedding party) or a king’s table (with your parents), opt for a sweetheart table — just you and your other half! Honestly, you’ll barely spend any time sitting there anyway, so try not to stress about it too much.

Problem: You’re not sure how to seat your stepparents.
Solution: First things first: Don’t sit any parents at the head table unless you can fit them all, including stepparents. Second rule: Don’t separate spouses, even if your stepparent isn’t your favorite.

Problem: You kinda have a feeling your friend is going to show up with an uninvited date.
Solution: Save an empty seat at this guest’s table. That way your wedding crasher won’t feel unwelcome, and if he or she doesn’t show, the only thing you need to deal with is an extra chair! Oh, and be sure to bring extra place cards, and put a bridesmaid in charge of making last-minute cards for unexpected attendees.

Problem: Your parents (or your parents and your spouse’s parents) do NOT get along.
Solution: Traditionally, the couples’ parents sit at the same table. But if that’s not gonna fly, just don’t let it happen. Instead, seat the disagreeing parties at separate tables, but make them equally close to the head table and with equally important relatives, so nobody feels left out.

Problem: A couple guests don’t know anybody else at the wedding.
Solution: It’s nice to put people at a table where they know someone else, but weddings are also a great place to mingle! Put unattached parties together or seat your solo guest with a group she’ll get along with.

Problem: You have a lot of tables, and you’re worried guests will have a hard time finding their seats.
Solution: We’re huge fans of cute table names, but they’re not ideal for big weddings. Instead, give tables numbers, and organize them in a logical manner, with the smallest number nearest to the entryway. Enlist the help of your vendors, wedding party, or ushers to help guests find their seats.

Problem: You have twelve friends from college coming your wedding — and your tables seat ten.
Solution: Don’t leave two friends out from all the fun! Split a close group (whether it’s friends or family) into two groups, and pair them with another group that they’re bound to get along with, like your cousins. They’ll appreciate knowing some people at the table and getting to meet new folks. Then the whole group can reconvene on the dance floor!

Problem: Your parents invited a bunch of guests you don’t even know, and you have no clue where to seat them.
Solution: Ask for your parents’ help! If they invited them, they can make the seating decision. Plus, your parents will probably know who their friends will best get along with.

Problem: You’ve already changed the seating chart more times than you can count.
Solution: Stop what you’re doing, take a breath, and leave it as is! If you’ve already put that much effort into the arrangement, your guests will probably have a great time. And at the end of the day, it’s just one meal — after all the eating and speaking is done, everyone will be on the dance floor!

–By Kristin Doherty

Find more tips and advice on Loverly:
7 Seating Arrangement Mistakes You DON’T Want to Make

4 Reasons Why You Definitely Need A Seating Arrangement

The Great Debate: Names or Numbers for Your Reception Tables?