Wedding Seating Etiquette

How to avoid Mistakes

Planning a wedding takes time, money and dedication, but often it’s the ‘small details’ such as seating arrangements that can make a big difference to the enjoyment of your big day. If you’ve ever ended up on a table where nobody talks, or where two people who don’t get along have been placed next to each other, you’ll know just how important it is to get this detail right. Find out about wedding seating etiquette from Andrews Marquees, suppliers of wedding marquees in South West England.


Top table and small guest tables in a wedding marquee

Here are our top tips for choosing the perfect seating plan:

1. Make sure that every single guest is included on your seating plan. Aunty Dora will never forgive you if she’s missed off the list

2. Try to seat people in a formation that allows them to see or hear what is happening at the top table (if there is one), particularly if you’re inviting older guests

3. Avoid separating couples or really close friends as they are likely to naturally gravitate towards one another anyway, leaving one table half-empty and the other overcrowded

4. Some people may come to your wedding alone without knowing any other guests. If this is the case, make a special effort to ensure they sit with people who will make them feel comfortable.

5. If you know that there are certain people that don’t get on well – for example couples that have recently separated – don’t try any social experiments. Sparks may fly, but perhaps not the kind you’re looking for on your big day!

6. Make sure that, if there are a large number of guests, you include a plan of the room at the entrance to the marquee or reception space. Numbered seats, in addition to name cards, will help your guest find their table and chair with the minimum of fuss.

7. It may be a good idea to include a few spare places (and meals), for unexpected guests.

8. Don’t forget your photographer and vicar (if invited). Make sure that both are seated where they will feel welcome and where the photographer can take photos and easily get up to move around the reception venue without disturbing other guests.

Some bridal parties prefer not to have a formal structure when it comes to seating plans, and this certainly gives guests – and the bride and groom – the chance to choose where to sit and who to avoid, if necessary. However, the bride and groom should ensure that they pick first to avoid being separated or too far away from where the speeches will be delivered.

Remember that your wedding seating plan and place settings should be fun, engaging and fit with the overall theme of your wedding. Whether your reception is taking place in a marquee, hotel, home or pub, your guests will really appreciate the extra effort you have gone to in order to provide thoughtful and personalised seating arrangements.

Andrews Marquees provides exquisite marquees for weddings of all sizes. The company will help to ensure that your guests are comfortable, at ease and ready to enjoy your special day. Contact Andrews Marquees for advice on choosing the right wedding marquee and to get a quote today.