Articles — seating arrangement

Indian Weddings: 5 Seating Arrangement Styles

Indian Weddings: 5 Seating Arrangement Styles

Cultural events provide an opportunity for guests to sample cultures not their own. It gives a chance to “outsiders” to have a feel of something different from what one knows.

Weddings are no exceptions. They enable guests to have a feel of how a specific culture celebrates its wedding.

Indian weddings provide a unique cultural wedding experience. They are extravagant ceremonies that celebrate the coming together of two families.

An Indian wedding is a Vivaha. The ceremony itself is is Vivaah Sanskar in North India and Kalyanam in South India.

Indians celebrate weddings with so much vigour and energy. In some places, weddings go on for days. One of the most important features of such weddings is the seating arrangement.

There are several seating styles for Indian weddings. These depend on:

  1. Venue
    Will the wedding be indoors or outdoors?
  2. Number of guests
    Will the seating arrangements be able to accommodate all guests?
  3. The theme of the event
    The seating arrangements are in line with the choice of theme one opts for. Some of the themes in Indian weddings include:
    • Royal Maharaja Theme
    • Fairy Tale Theme
    • Lucknowi Wedding Theme
    • Rajasthani Wedding Theme
    • Green Wedding Theme
    • Indoor Garden Wedding Theme
    • Forest Wedding Theme

These wedding themes use various seating arrangements like the ones below:

  1. Amphitheatre seating style

    This seating arrangement incorporates a Mandap (a temporary platform set up for weddings). It looks like a Roman amphitheatre. The seats are set around the Mandap in such a way that guests can witness the wedding without disturbance.

    This seating arrangement is suitable for various Indian wedding themes. It is good for Sangeets and Mehendis. It’s the perfect seating arrangement style for a wonderful wedding day.

  2. Lounge seating style

    Lounge seating arrangement involves setting up the wedding like a lounge. Achieve this with stylish coffee tables and sofas.

    This setup gives a casual feel to the event. It is best put to use in a more informal party pre-wedding event like a dinner evening or even a cocktail.

    This type of seating arrangement fits the fairytale theme or Royal Maharaja theme.

  3. Divan or Takht seating style

    This seating arrangement makes use of mattresses and cushions. Decorations make them beautiful for use during the wedding. This arrangement adds flavour to the wedding. Use it at the Haldi or Mehndi.

  4. Round table seating style

    The round table seating style provides a variety of setup arrangements. There are two main ones: banquet and cabaret.

    In a banquet setup, guests sit around the table facing each other. This allows them to interact. In this arrangement, guests may need to turn to face the front.

    The other round table option is cabaret style, where one end of the table is open. The guests can face the front and be able to see the ongoing activities. This option also makes it easier to serve refreshments without disturbing guests.

  5. Theatre seating style

    This is the simplest seating style that can be set up at a wedding reception or ceremony. All it needs is an arrangement of seats in rows, leaving aisle spaces like a movie theatre.

    This seating style is good for any ceremony. It can work with a Cabana seating arrangement, which is suitable for a beachside or poolside wedding. It also works well for an afternoon Mehendi.

    There is a wide variety of seating arrangement options. Consider doing different seating styles for the guests on various occasions. Mix it up and add flair to your engagement ceremony, wedding day and reception.

The reception is also an important part of any wedding ceremony. With the various seating arrangements, setup options vary for an Indian wedding reception. These Include:

  • A mix of X and O Tables

    This is a setup of long rectangular tables in an X format and round tables in an O format. This is a good setup when one is looking for a unique seating arrangement.

  • Head table in the middle and dance floor on the side

    This style is unique but has its own flaws. Guests may need to stand and walk to the dance floor, or stand to see activities taking place on the dance floor. It is good for weddings with elderly guests.

  • All round tables

    This setup is in the form of a restaurant-style seating arrangement. Guests sit in groups according to how they know each other.

  • A mixture of rectangular and round tables

    Rectangular tables are set in the middle with round tables around them. This creates a variety of seating options for guests depending on preference

  • Long rows of tables

    Long rows of tables work well for a reception with few guests. Otherwise, the setup may look cumbersome when the tables are too long.

  • Doughnut table set-up

    A doughnut-style setup is in a round or square format with a space in the middle.

  • Long head table

    The long head table is set at the front and centre of the event. This becomes the reference point of the setup. The rest of the tables are then set up in alignment to the head table.

Planning an Indian Wedding Reception?

Indian wedding

Image from: Indian Wedding Tool Kit

You are planning an Indian wedding reception. You have gotten all things in check and the seating arrangement is well-thought-out. There are other important factors to keep in mind for a successful event.

  1. Family

    Run all seating arrangements by family and let them give you their opinion. Especially for South Asian weddings, the family plays a significant role in a successful wedding ceremony.

    The couple or planner may not know all the relatives, and the parents may want to sit close to some of them. Older family members also know all the social norms that are upheld within the community.

  2. No castaways

    This is especially important when seating a group of friends. Do not group some and leave two or three “cast away” at another table.

    The right thing to do is to split the group into two tables and then proceed to fill up the remaining spaces. These spaces can have close cousins or family friends so the guests do not feel a form of alienation.

    Casting away guests puts a  bad taste in the mouth. The guests might leave the wedding as soon as they arrive.

  3. Avoid singles tables

    It is not good to have a table for singles during Indian weddings. Avoid having them. Mix single guests among other guests and give them a chance to talk with everybody else.

  4. Seating guests at back tables

    Back tables are tables most guests do not think twice about. They are also challenging when doing seating arrangements, as people do not like them.

    These include tables near the exits, DJ and by the kitchen. These tables are for people you have to invite to the wedding out of respect.

    They could be former coworkers, old friends, neighbours or people who also sent an invite to you. Also, be respectful and avoid seating elderly guests near these tables.

  5. Do not set tables under vents

    Most venues like hotels have vents for air conditioning. Avoid seating guests neat them, as they will be uncomfortable during the event. They will also not forget the cold or hot experience.

  6. Sitting children

    When you have child guests, kid tables may or may not be a good idea. Determine the ages of your guests to know whether to sit them with their parents or set a separate table.

    Other things to note for Indian weddings and receptions are the Indian wedding site.

    Planning seating arrangements for an Indian wedding need not be hard. Consider hierarchy priorities and the wedding will be memorable for aeons to come.

Final Tip: Double-check the venue and ensure good quality food and beverage linen is available.

Feature Image: Flickr Image by Santosh Gawde

7 Tips on How to Seat Guests at a Wedding Reception

7 Tips on How to Seat Guests at a Wedding Reception

Everyone gets an invite to a wedding at some point. This is the opportunity to dress up, have fun and watch friends and family get hitched.

Part of what makes a wedding enjoyable is well-thought-out seating arrangements. This gives guests a good view of all the happenings whether vows, cake cutting or dancing.

Good and orderly seating arrangements make guests glad they honoured the wedding invitation. This aspect of wedding planning needs to have attention and be made a priority.

Creating seating arrangements is one of the hardest tasks when planning an event. It is even more daunting when the event in question is a wedding.

Want to host your guests and create seating arrangements like a pro? Want your guests to have beautiful memories of your wedding? Want to leave them with a lasting “wow” effect?

Planning your own wedding? Have a planner? Seating arrangements need not be rocket science.

Below are 7 helpful tips to make the process of seating guests at a wedding reception easy.

Tip 1: Ensure You Have a Reception Seating Chart

Seating charts enable couples and their wedding planners to work on seating arrangements. The charts rely on receiving RSVPs and finalized guest lists.

Having a seating chart creates room for smooth and orderly seating. It provides comfort and puts wedding guests at ease.

The host can amend a seating chart during the reception if the need arises. Cupcake graphics lists four benefits of having a seating chart.

  • Seating charts are orderly and simple

Nowadays, we live in a digital world. There are apps and sites for almost everything including creating seating charts.

Sites like the hello bureau and foam boards provide seating chart services at a fee. They guide clients towards seamless seating arrangements. One can go online and have a seating chart within minutes.

  • They are unique and personalised

A seating chart is unique to every wedding. This gives guests unique experiences at the wedding. It is also done according to the taste of the couple.

  • In some occasions, they are better than place cards

Having a seating chart relieves guests of having to go around the venue looking for their names. It also saves time, as they’ll know exactly where to go once they arrive.

  • The couple can keep them as a wedding memory

The seating chart will remind the couple of all the guests who came to their wedding.

Not all wedding receptions need to have seating charts, though. In some instances, the charts are not necessary. Some of the exceptions from bridestory include:

  • Guests not sitting down for a meal during the wedding reception

In some weddings, couples opt for informal receptions, such as cocktails. These do not need seating arrangements.

  • Intimate weddings with few guests

In such small weddings, the guests know each other pretty well. They can sit together without needing a seating arrangement.

  • When space is limited

If you have many guests and limited space, you can opt for a standing party. It is definitely unique as well.

  • Irregular seating layouts

Irregular seating includes hay bales, couches, rags/blankets and palettes among others.

Tip 2: Determine your Preferred Table Arrangement/Style

The table arrangement style of choice determines seating arrangements during the wedding reception. The type of food and number of guests attending is a determining factor.

There are a variety of reception seating styles

  • Long table

This is one of the “traditional” seating methods. It allows guests to mingle at the wedding. To make this work well, it is better to use chairs as opposed to benches.

  • Assigned by table only

Assign guests a table, but they get to choose their seat at the table. This works in a banquet/restaurant-style seating arrangement.

  • Assigned by seat position

This arrangement seats the guests according to their preferences. This keeps guests happy but takes a lot of time and effort. This is especially suitable for small, intimate weddings.

  • Free seating

This option allows guests to sit anywhere they want. It provides them with an opportunity to mingle and network as they attend the wedding.

  • Kids-only table

Reserve a table for the kids. They can eat and do kiddie activities as the adults focus on the wedding reception.

The main idea is to have a seating arrangement at your reception. You can impress guests and keep them comfortable at the same time.

Tip 3: Number or Name the Tables

Ensure that you number the tables at your reception. This enables the guests to identify their table with ease.

You can use numbers or even names. For the names, they can have meaning to the couple like countries, towns and other interesting ideas.

Tip 4: Group the Guests by Relationship

Guests attending the reception have different relations and attachments to the couple. They also have different relationships among themselves.

Group the various guests according to the relationships they have with each other. This ensures they are comfortable during the reception. A few things to keep in mind:

  • Determine where the bride and groom will sit
This ought to be the first decision. Where the bride and groom sit will be the focal point of the ceremony. They will also need to be comfortable. Among the options for this are:
    • Sweetheart table
    • This table option sits the bride and groom at their own table
    • The traditional table
    • In this seating arrangement, the couple sits with their parents on either side
    • The modern table
    • This table option is trending where the bride and groom sit together with their bridal party
  • Place the parents
The parents can sit with the couple at the traditional table or at their own tables. Decisions to make when seating parents include:
    • Will both sets of parents sit together?
    • Will they sit at separate tables?
    • Are the parents divorced? 
    • Do their divorced parents have a partner?
  • Let parents help sit their friends
Parents will definitely bring their friends to the reception. Allow them to sit them.
    • Focus on the various guests

    Give priority to the various guests in the room. This includes family, friends, workmates, schoolmates and all other groups.

    Placing guests in groups gives them an opportunity to enjoy each others’ company and catch up. For example, high school buddies may be present and want to catch up on each others’ lives.

      Tip 5: Be Strategic and Sensitive

      Being strategic is like grouping guests according to various groups. Sit them with people they know or who have similar backgrounds, like career groups, etc.

      Avoid seating people who have trouble getting along together. Put them at different tables. Also, avoid having a few single people with many couples at one table.

      Mix guests so they can network and make new friends, while at the same time enjoy themselves at the wedding.

      Tip 6: Consider Age Needs and Limitations

      The guests in attendance have various needs requiring attention. For successful planning, it is important to take care of the needs of all guests. Some important things to remember:

        • Keep the closest family seated near or next to the wedding party.
        • Seat the much older or elderly guests where they have ease of access to exits and aisles.
        • Seat children or moms with children away from the blaring sounds of the speakers. This applies to elderly guests, too.

        Tip 7: Get a Second Opinion of the Seating Arrangements

        Work with close family and friends for a second opinion of the seating arrangements. This will enable them to give input over any gaps that may arise.

        It also provides an opportunity to see any wrong seating placements. Close family and friends have a better knowledge of the majority of the wedding guests.

        Bonus Tip: Take Into Account Seating Arrangement Etiquette

        Wedding reception seating arrangement may seem like a walk in the park, but it needs a lot of keenness. Giving it the attention it deserves ensures guests are as comfortable as possible.

        To be a successful host, take into account seating arrangement etiquette. Below are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind while working on reception seating arrangements.


          1. Mix up various guests with various personalities together. Spread out the “socialites”, as they add life to the room.
          2. Determine where to place your DJ, band, cake, food and other important services first. Proceed to seat guests once this is clear.
          3. Seat younger, more energetic guests by the dance floor. Seat elderly guests away from the dance floor.
          4. Leave extra space for guests with wheelchairs and crutches.
          5. Always work with a floor plan and choose tables and chairs in sizes that fit the room.
          6. Have a kids table if there are more than 10 kids at the wedding. Consider having activities for when the kids get bored. Consider having the wedding in a venue that accommodates kids.
          7. Leave a few seats free at random spots within the room to accommodate last-minute guests who may have not RSVP’d.


            1. Make seating arrangements by hand. It is strenuous and can lead to confusion.
            2. Make your single guests uncomfortable by seating them with married guests. Also, do not make the table with single guests attract attention.
            3. Make guests uncomfortable by placing them with people they do not get along with.
            4. Do the seating plan in a hurry. Take ample time to be able to capture everyone.
            5. Do not separate the couples at the event.
            6. Procrastinate. Do the seating plan/chart early to avert confusion.
            7. Forget that there may be slight hitches. Do not let this affect the day.

            Finally, take into account that it is not possible to please everyone during the wedding. Do the best you can to achieve a seamless seating arrangement.

            Keep in mind that slight hitches will happen. When they do, take it with a pinch of salt and eat life with a big spoon.

            Final Tip: Double-check the venue and ensure good quality food and beverage linen is available.

            Feature Image: Flickr Image by prostooleh

            8 Types of Seating Arrangements for Restaurants

            table set-up

            A crucial thing to consider when opening up a restaurant is the seating arrangement. In fact, it’s this decision that will largely shape your restaurant business plan going forward.

            And it’s not an easy decision. But others have done it. And you can, too (with maybe just a little help from us).

            We have outlined below the various types of common seating arrangements for restaurants and other types of eateries. Plus, a couple of helpful tips on getting it just right and maximising your turnover.

            Once you finish reading, you will understand the many seating arrangement options available for you to choose from - and ultimately make a more informed decision.

            But before we go on, have a look at the café, restaurant and catering industry stats in Australia:

            Cafe Restaurant & Catering Industry Stats -Triumvirate MMA

            Image from: Sydney Commercial Kitchen

            Looks promising, doesn’t it? Let’s now take a closer look at your restaurant seating arrangement options:

            Table of Contents

            1. Hotels
            2. Sports Bars
            3. Coffee Houses
            4. Drive-Throughs
            5. Pizza Places
            6. Pubs and Bars
            7. Movie Theatre Lobbies/Restaurants
            8. Pop-Up Restaurants

            1. Hotels

            Hotels are one of the many dining options in the accommodation industry, alongside:

            • Motels;
            • Farm stays;
            • Self-contained accommodation;
            • Guesthouses and boutique hotels;
            • Bed and breakfasts accommodating more than five people.

            The honest truth is that the hotel business is very competitive; every day, visitors are becoming savvier when shopping for the best deal.

            Therefore, you need to WOW your customers. Every. Single. Day.

            One sure-fire way is by creating the perfect ambience: And we have some insider tips for you.

            • Choose a perfect location: one that suits your concept and budget, ideally within a busy neighbourhood and easy to access. Also has facilities such as parking and easy access to public transport;
            • Get a professional to do your decor and design: you are better off working with an experienced designer who has a portfolio of hospitality projects;
            • Plan before doing fits outs and buying equipment: this goes hand-in-hand with your design, cost analysis, and the style of food you are offering;
              • Fine dining: features excellent food, elegant decor, and superior service;
              • Casual dining: features a relaxed environment and mid-range prices;
            • Get stylish yet functional tables and chairs: carefully consider the dimensions, materials and finish;
            • Choose your colours wisely: the right colours will generate an inviting environment in your establishment;
            • Improve your lighting: it sets the overall mood and atmosphere;
            • Get picture-perfect tableware and table linens: that’s how you present your dishes in a tantalising way.

            Small Square Tablecloth

            Table Overlay

            Industrial Style Rustic Napkin

            2. Sports Bars

            Sports bars are for sports lovers who can, but prefer not to, stay at home all the time in their sweat pants and follow their favourite teams from their couch.

            So, you MUST make their experience at your sports bar worthwhile.

            One good thing about opening a sports bar is that you’ll never run out of sports to air - major sports leagues’ seasons overlap and together extend all year long.

            Keep the following tips in mind as you consider this option:

            • Always regulate the sound of your (many) TVs;
            • Have at least one screen that’s big (55+ inches) on each wall;
            • Get well-presented, smart, and agile servers to wait upon the sports fans;
            • Have great food and drink options; lots of beer, both domestic and imported;
            • Play music at the appropriate time; during commercial breaks or pre-game shows;
            • Arrange your sports bar in a way that patrons can see and hear the game from every spot in the bar.

            3. Coffee Houses

            Coffee - Australian map

            Image from:

            Looking at the diagram above, it’s no secret that Australians love coffee. Therefore, opening a coffee house is often a sound idea if you know your coffee.

            Assuming you already know your beans, have a great supply of flavoured options, and an excellent coffee shop location, you may wonder what’s next.

            Plan your overall look and design, bearing in mind the following tips:

            • Make your menu easy to spot and read and have friendly staff attend to customers as quickly as possible;
            • Match your accessories and artwork with your brand to match the intended mood; think colours and lighting;
            • Plan an efficient service area where your guests walk in through the door and instinctively know where and when to order their favourite coffee;
            • Know the brand of your coffee shop and set the mood accordingly by choosing a niche in the market you are going to serve;
            • Consider the space you have and the unique features to add such as a fireplace, a bay window, a staging area for musicians, large screen TVs, electrical outlets, and WiFi.

            4. Drive-Throughs

            To run a successful drive-through you need to leverage the proper technologies that will meet your customer demands, including:

            • Order accuracy;
            • Speed of service;
            • Customer satisfaction.

            All the while positively affecting your bottom line.

            Sounds like a tough nut to crack, huh?

            Well, there is more to operating a successful drive-through than installing a window on the side of a building.

            You’ll require:

            • Menu options that can be delivered quickly;
            • Outdoor digital signage to grab the customers’ attention;
            • Certain type of real estate; it has to be a drive-through setting;
            • The right technologies to ensure speed of service and customer satisfaction;
            • Proper crew training to effectively execute effective, efficient and satisfying customer experience.

            And of course, if you offer walk-ins, they need to have somewhere to sit without feeling like second-class citizens to your vehicle-based clientele.

            Ensure your dine-in space, while maybe minimal and basic, is still comfortable and not squeezed into some corner with a view of the staff toilet and bin storage. Try to create a nice bench-style seating area outside and even undercover that is far enough away from exhaust fumes to make it a good place to sit.

            And make your inside dining space functional and welcoming as you can.

            5. Pizza Places

            IBIS world did a report on the Pizza restaurants and Takeaway industry in Australia and reported the following:

            “Industry revenue is expected to grow by an annualised 2.7% over the five years through 2018-19, to $3.4 billion.”
            “Industry revenue is expected to grow by 0.9% in the current year, due to a rise in discretionary incomes.”

            Better still, IBIS world went ahead to give the following threats and opportunities based on research:

            • Consumers have embraced gourmet and healthier options, despite the associated higher price points;
            • Competition among operators has limited growth, forcing traditional pizza shops to compete on price;
            • Population growth, especially in the outer suburbs, will open up new markets for pizza franchises.

            Based on the data, setting up a pizza place sounds like a good business idea. Now, among the many other thing you will consider is your pizza shop service style.

            The service style options are:

            • Take ‘n Bake: customers buy pre-made pizzas to bake at home. You’ll need more refrigeration and display cases;
            • Dine-in: This the typical pizza restaurant. You require extensive kitchen equipment, furniture, tableware, music, lighting, waiters, and more;
            • Delivery: You deliver pizza to customers based on the orders made online or via phone. The customer ultimately pays for the increased cost of delivery;
            • Takeout only: Customers can take-out pizza over the counter. The setting is small, you require little staff, no waiters, very little tableware and furniture and less equipment.

            The dine-in model is pretty much the only one that requires a lot of planning for seating arrangements, but it’s still important to consider the dining experience for every customer.

            Big pizzas can take up a lot of table space and leave little room for plates and drinks, so consider using pizza tray stands that elevate the food and leave room underneath if you can only accommodate small dine-in tables.

            6. Pubs and Bars

            Do you want to open a pub? Or, a bar?

            Draw some inspiration from the 10 oldest pubs in Sydney Australia. And by old, we mean the 19th Century.

            And these stats and facts on bars in Australia are also pretty interesting.

            Before you open the doors to your pub or bar, make sure that you are ready to overcome the challenges that come with this business:

            • Financial pressure;
            • Stress on family and friendships;
            • Working for very long late/hours;
            • Dealing with annoying, rude patrons.

            Another thing to consider is how you will seat your patrons. Consider the following seat style options:

          • Wood: Both durable and handsome;
          • Upholstered: Extra style and comfort;
          • Leather: Attractive look that’s easy to keep clean;
          • Metal Finishes: Iron lends a classic look; chrome adds contemporary appeal.
          • Here’s an informative infographic showing you how to choose modern bar stools.

            Modern Style Bar Stools

            Image from: Visually

            7. Movie Theatre Lobbies / Restaurants

            Food and film are two great experiences that go great together.

            A movie theatre lobby or restaurant meets the demands of movie fans who want to have a quick bite to eat before or after they catch a movie. Some cinemas offer a dine-in experience as you watch, but that essentially requires purpose-built seats facing the screen with side-table space for meals and drinks.

            For the seating arrangement in a theatre lobby, you can aim for casual style seating, such as:

            • Long tables and bar stools or even booths that maximise use of space along lobby walls;
            • Outside dining options, if the location permits, using either stools and benchtops or small tables and chairs;
            • Stand-up options with simple shelves acting as benchtops for patrons to rest their food and drinks.

            8. Pop-up Restaurants

            Pop-up restaurants, true to their name, are restaurants that “pop up” anywhere, anytime for a limited time. Generally, you’ll rely on social media and word-of-mouth to generate interest.

            The beauty of pop-up restaurants is that they’re a fun low-commitment venture for testing the waters and a location’s viability for your style of offering.

            To open up a pop-up restaurant, here are key things to prepare.

            • Get a location close to your target audience. Ensure it has running water, sufficient dining space, and a good sewage system;
            • Create a business plan; it's your roadmap and should contain key sections such as competitive analysis, target menu, and target market;
            • Obtain the proper equipment for your kitchen and dining room - you can rent or borrow to save on costs;
            • Put together a killer menu that your guests will love;
            • Advertise your business through various means;

            Restaurant Seat Layout Tips

            So far, we’ve given you some useful tips to help you understand the type of seating arrangement you want for your restaurant.

            But there’s more...

            Remember the following pointers when placing your tables and chairs in your eatery.

            Tip #1: Avoid the Wrong Mix

            Analyse the reservations at the end of the day. Determine, based on the number and group of guests that visit, the best mix to use. If you have frequent two-person guests, set more twos. It’s a better use of space than sitting them at a four-person table and wasting 50% of the space.

            Tip #2: Ensure Guests Have a Good View of their Surroundings

            Guests visit restaurants for the food, the people they’re dining with, the view and some social variety. They don’t like feeling secluded. If setting up booths, ensure they’re not too high. Ensure all guests as much as possible get to enjoy their surroundings in a convivial atmosphere.

            Tip #3: Ensure Some Tables Have a Form of Anchor

            Some guests prefer tables with at least one side anchored. This could be either against a wall or other permanent structure. Especially when they are at a table for two.

            Tip #4: Give Your Guests Space

            One of the reasons guests dine together is to have intimate conversations. Especially when they choose tables for two. Make sure their seats and tables enable them to enjoy their meal and chat easily without straining to hear themselves or be overheard by everyone else in the room.

            Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (Leave That to Us)

            Now that you have a clearer understanding (we hope) of the various restaurant seating arrangements, which one would you choose for your venture?

            Whatever way you go, there are always more decisions to make. Like tablecloths, napkins, tea towels and so on.

            So don’t sweat the small stuff. Just get in touch with Australian Linen Supply for affordable, hotel-quality food and beverage linen and we’ll take care of it for you (so you can keep stressing about the menu), including:

            And that’s it. Good luck!

            Photo Courtesy:

            Feature Image: Pixabay Image by barryrjonesjr

            6 Easy Tips to Create an Event Seating Arrangement Plan Like a Pro

            6 Easy Tips to Create an Event Seating Arrangement Plan Like a Pro

            Perfect and successful event planning is achievable. An event's success is measurable when the guests are comfortable. This can only happen when there is a well-thought-out plan.

            A good seating plan makes things easier because:

            • It gives caterers an easier time when serving meals.
            • It ensures all tables get filled and enables hosts to figure out where guests will sit.
            • It prevents confusion at the entrance. When guests arrive at the venue, they can locate their seat with ease.

            So, how do you create a seating arrangement plan like a pro? Below are six easy tips to achieve your goal:

            Tip 1: Have an idea of the venue space

            Which kind of event are you hosting? What venue do you have in mind? How many people do you intend to host? What are the venue restrictions? Answering these questions will enable you to narrow down venue choices.

            Always double-check the capacity of the venue you choose. Take into account the size and shape of the tables and table linen available.

            It also enables you to know the kind of event set-up you need to use. While setting up ensure that the confirmed guests can fit in the selected venue.

            Avoid seating guests too close to each other. They need to have space to move around and not feel claustrophobic.

            The venue needs to be spacious enough for your event. This prevents overcrowding and enables guests to enjoy the event. You do not want guests to step on each other's toes while dancing.

            Decide if the venue is big enough for the event you would like to hold well ahead of the day. Trying to change the venue close to the event is a lot harder and more expensive.

            A good seating plan gives an opportunity for a timely event venue change if needed. It also gives you the freedom to play around with various set-up options.

            Tip 2: Send timely invites to guests

            Have a proper well-organised event invitation list. Once you have a list, send guests timely invitations for them to plan and RSVP.

            Start working on your seating plan arrangements as soon as the invites are out. You can then double check the arrangement as the RSVPs start coming in.

            This avoids the hassle of doing the seating plan in a hurry. It also gives you peace of mind when everything runs according to plan.

            Tip 3: Do not do the seating plan by hand

            To work like a pro, avoid writing out a seating plan by hand. It is tiresome and may cause confusion as handwriting may be hard to read.

            Instead, create a seating plan online. There are many online tools that help to make a seating chart. Sites like AllSeated, seating planner and hitched are just a few options at your disposal.

            These tools are great because they have easy-to-use drag and drop seating options. You can make changes as many times as possible until you are happy.

            Some sites also have a list of venues. If the venue you like is on the list, it could even show a virtual floor plan. Every little detail can help with stress-free planning and reduce indecision.

            Once done creating the seating chart, you can prepare a foamboard. Guests can use it to locate their seats on arrival.

            You can also sketch tables on a poster and place guest names. In planning stages, you can even put names against table numbers using post-its. These can help you move names around until comfortable.

            Bonus tip: Show guests on the chart where to find services like the dancefloor or band, restrooms, the buffet, and the bar.

            Tip 4: Take care of every guest’s needs

            To host a successful event, take care of the needs of every guest. Seating plans are more helpful when you pre-empt issues and accommodate guests.

            The guests have various needs requiring attention. For successful planning, it’s important to at least consider and plan for the different needs of all guests.

            Some important things to remember:

            • Keep the closest family seated near or next to the wedding party.
            • Seat the much older or elderly guests where they have ease of access to exits and aisles.
            • Seat children or mums with children away from the blaring sounds of the speakers. This applies to elderly guests, too.
            • Ensure the venue caters for guests that have physical challenges. Leave extra space for guests with wheelchairs.

            Tip 5: Place the right people together

            Guests appreciate sitting near people they are familiar with or they know. A great way to achieve this is to group guests by relationship. The groups could include:

            • Family members
            • High school friends
            • College friends
            • Work friends and colleagues
            • Colleagues grouped according to workplace
            • Ages, interests, and backgrounds

            The idea is to accommodate everyone and ensure that they enjoy themselves. You can mix it up and add a variety of new faces to each table.

            This is good especially when there are new guests who do not know many people. This will enable them to get to know people and be able to enjoy being at the event.

            Bear in mind some people are naturally introverted so use your knowledge of people’s personalities to match them with like-minded table companions.

            Avoid seating people who you suspect do not see eye-to-eye. To get it right, work with close family members for inside knowledge.

            Depending on the event; whether a wedding, conference, party, funeral or Bar/Bat Mitzvah. The family can help when the seating arrangement needs a change.

            Tip 6: Plan for safety and emergencies

            When creating an event seating arrangement plan, ensure it factors in safety regulations. For example, what is the largest capacity of the venue and are the exits easy to find and accessible?

            Avoid blocking exits and know escape routes. Take note of all emergency equipment and exits.

            Depending on your venue, there may be extra regulations that you need to be aware of. Make enquiries from the manager of the venue you would like or even the owner.

            This enables you to know venue-specific guidelines.

            Final Tip: Do a final check on your seating arrangement plan

            A lot can change between an RSVP and the date of your event. Confirmed guests may pull out at the last minute and interfere with your seating plan.

            To avoid confusion, keep in frequent touch with your guests. This will enable you to know of any changes in advance and accommodate them.

            One week prior to the event, make final checks using emails and social media to confirm all guests. This prevents last minute surprises and completes the seating plan like a pro.

            A pro ensures everyone has a seat and tries to accommodate everyone's needs as much as possible. Beyond this, let the guests have fun.

            Double check the venue and ensure good quality food and beverage linen is available. If not, work with linen from a quality supplier like Australian Linen Services.

            Photo courtesy from by Sweet Ice Cream Wedding