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Tips to Create a Successful Seating Plan

Avoid unnecessary fighting and stress by putting together the perfect seating plan. Here are some things to keep in mind.

The first step towards a festive and stress-free seating arrangement when it comes to wedding celebrations is an understanding of who your guests are.

For example, your aunt who suffers from hearing loss won't want to sit near the DJ. And your brother who is bringing his new girlfriend will want to make sure she's comfortable with at least one or two of the other guests at their table.

Though it isn't always easy, the key to a successful and happy celebration is to ensure that no guest is left out and all are comfortable. If your guests are at ease with one another, you will find yourself relaxed and enjoying the festivities right alongside them.

For the fall wedding table I put together I wanted to not only create a comfortable seating arrangement, but a festive one as well. I turned to my fall invitations to inspire my choice for place card printables to capture the autumn theme.

These place cards not only added a pretty touch to the table, they also made my guests feel invited, special and comfortable. Working your invitation (the initial glimpse guests have into the party) into your decor is a good idea when you're trying to tie together a theme, but it also helps make your guests feel welcome and the atmosphere familiar.

6 Tips to Plan Seating Arrangements for Weddings:

Avoid cliques: Separate guests who speak frequently and mix them amongst those that are more inclined to feel like newcomers to ensure that everyone feels included.

Don't separate couples: Sure they spend a majority of their time together, but they'll mix and mingle on their own. To ensure single friends don't feel left out seat them with other singles. This will give tables a community feel, and keeps your guests with those who have similar situations and jumping off points for conversation.

Left-handers in the corner: Not because they're in trouble though! When possible, seat your left-handed guests at the corner of the table, or if using a round table, seat them next to one another; this gives everyone more elbowroom!

Remember the hearing impaired: Always seat those with hearing difficulties next to someone they can engage with and away from the DJ. 

The welcome committee: New guests are best positioned next to, or across from the person they arrived with to avoid isolation and encourage conversation with others.

Be sensitive to sensitivities: Drinkers, recovering alcoholics, the pregnant sister next to the guest who is struggling to conceive, and countless other odd-couples are best left peppered around the table rather than next to one another.

Seating plans take time to reach perfection, and are likely to evolve over time, so start as soon as you know who is coming and be prepared to make changes right up to the moment you start the reception.

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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