Saturday, February 23, 2008

Etiquette about the seating chart

Image from the knot
Why is it that some people just don't respond back to RSVP's? Nowadays, online RSVP seems to work best, but what do you do when most of your guests are your parents' friends and relatives you hardly know? It's just not in our Korean culture to respond back right away and some adults just show up on the wedding day asking for their seats. This topic makes me reminisce on all the experiences I've gone through in the past with seating charts and let me tell you one thing: it wasn't a pleasant experience. I usually tell my clients to leave one extra table or a few empty seats at every table just in case some unexpected guests show up. Once you've collected all the guest lists hopefully 2-3 weeks before the wedding (and you might need to call them and bug them to send it in) here's what you need to know before you start working on your seating chart.

Who Sits Where?
The Bridal Table
The bride and groom may sit at a long rectangular head table with the bridal party or their own "sweetheart" table.
Family Tables
Often, the parents of the bride and groom sit opposite each other at a large family table, with grandparents, the officiant, and other close friends. An alternative is to have the bride and groom's parents "host" their own tables, consisting of their family members and close friends. In the case of divorced parents, each parent may also host his or her own table, smoothly diffusing any awkwardness or discomfort.
Mix or Match
As for the rest of your guests, should you put friends together or seat them with "new" people? The answer is a bit of both. While it is a great idea to mix in a few new faces at each table, remember that people are most comfortable when they know some of their dinner companions. Be considerate and put acquaintances together when you can. If you have guests who don't know anyone, seat them near guests with similar interests. If you have a group of friends that cannot fit at one table, split them down the middle, and fill in each table with other guests.

What about the guests you don't know? If you have no idea what to do with your parents' friends, let your mother and mother-in-law arrange those tables. This is very important! You want every guest to feel special.
Some guests will take it personally if they're sitting way in the back. Be sure to ask your parents and mother-in-law where they should be seated to be considerate of their needs. Go over the seating chart one last time with your parents a couple days before the wedding day. And no matter how perfect your final seating plan seems, you will undoubtedly receive at least one last minute phone call begging you to change or add more names. In this case, try to be accommodating, but don't let this stress you out too much!

Seating Arrangement for Weddings is a free wedding planning software that helps you designe the floor plan, mange the guest list, track RSVPs, and more...