Wedding Ceremonies: 12 Out of the Box Seating Arrangements
Nobody likes the same cookie-cutter wedding. Every couple wants their wedding to be as unique as a thumbprint.
The small details make a wedding stand out. One such detail is the seating arrangement of your guests.
Deciding who sits where at the wedding can be overwhelming. Don’t plan using a pen and paper because this is tedious.
Take advantage of technology. Use online tools to plan a wedding seating arrangement.
AllSeated, WeddingWire and WeddingMapper are free sites where you can plan the wedding hassle-free.
The first thing guests notice at the reception is the seating arrangement. Personalise it with creative ideas to leave a lasting impression on your guests.
Here is how to make playing musical chairs a breeze.
1. Pews and Tree Stumps
Let nature do the talking with pews and tree stumps. These make a beautiful seating arrangement, especially for an outdoor wedding.
Guests sit in the order of their relationship to the bride and groom. Give the couple and bridal party prime vantage point by seating them in the front pews. The close family members follow suit.
In many traditional Christian weddings, wedding planners assign pews to specific guests.
Pews on the right side are for family and friends of the groom. The bride’s family and friends sit at the pews on the left side.
You can have no sides and only reserve the front pews for VIPs. The other guests can sit where they like.
Make sure you seat elderly guests closer to the front and on the aisles. This will ease their movement in and out of the ceremony area.
Leave room for guests with special needs, such as those with wheelchairs. Create space for them at the edge of the pew or tree stumps as long as you don’t block the passage.
2. Bales of Hay
Bales of hay attest to the saying that simple things are the most extraordinary. They are affordable and great for a minimalistic wedding.
Drape the hay bales in a small square tablecloth that matches the theme of the wedding. This will add colour to the setting and also prevent the hay from being too scratchy.
To create some comfort, consider piling up hay bales together to create a couch. Adorn it with big, coloured statement pillows for additional ambience.
Bales of hay are versatile and work in both indoor and outdoor settings. Large rounds of hay, for instance, provide a great background for wedding photos.
3. Circular Seating
In a circular seating setup, arrange chairs in a circle. This requires a good amount of space and is good for outdoor weddings.
The wedding procession circles around a canopy. This enables all guests to see the bridal party as they enter.
This seating arrangement helps you to create a warm and intimate wedding setting. It also provides a great visual angle because the bride and groom face the guests.
4. Half Circle
It is also referred to as a semi-circle seating arrangement. The wedding ceremony takes place in the middle, giving guests a great view.
The seating arrangement is versatile. Guests sit in two groups facing each other in straight or curved rows. Curved rows make the setting more intimate.
Each row can have either an equal number of seats or an increasing number of seats to form a triangle. Arrange rows to be centred or off-centred.
5. Seating by a Water Feature
This setting allows you to plan diverse ways of seating guests. If the reception is next to a swimming pool, you can sit guests on tables around the pool area.
If the water feature is a waterfall, let guests sit overlooking the water to enjoy a stunning view.
If the reception is by the beach, lay table linen, pillows and cushions on the ground. Let guests sit overlooking the beach to enjoy the cool breeze.
A water feature creates a stunning ambience for your reception. This presents a unique environment which is great for photography.
The photographer will enjoy capturing images in the natural beauty and romantic environment.
6. Vignette Seating
This seating arrangement is modern and quite unique. It helps you accommodate different groups of guests.
The setting creates a variety of opportunities for your guests to sit in small groups. It is intimate and provides an opportunity for conversations.
Mix different tables of different sizes and shapes, such as square and rectangular. This allows you to accommodate different sizes of groups.
7. Lounge Seating
This lounge provides a functional and aesthetic value. It is a laid-back and relaxed setting, great for an evening wedding reception.
It provides comfort to guests who want to take a break away from the dancefloor. It is also ideal for guests who want to hang out and have intimate conversations.
Set the mood using lights and place comfy couches and pods throughout the venue.
8. Family Style Seating
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This style is perfect for venues that have narrow spaces. Ditch the usual round tables and opt for elongated tables.
This arrangement allows you to seat many guests together in one table. Make use of long tables that can accommodate 30 to 50 guests.
The setting is intimate. Guests face each other at the table, making it easy to have conversations.
It is suitable for a casual and formal setting for both indoor and outdoor settings.
The long tables make it easy to decorate using centrepieces and table runners. Place your best china and silverware on the dinner table and match them with napkins.
Impress your guests with unique styles for folding napkins.
Watch this video to learn unique ways to fold napkins:
9. Rotating Bride and Groom
Image from: GreatCaesar
In this setting, the bride and groom interact with their guests. They move from one table to another and spend some time with the guests.
On each table, two people move aside to allow the bride and groom to sit for some time.
The setting requires prior arrangement. You must give advance notice to the two people moving at each table.
Have large round tables that accommodate 10 to 15 guests as opposed to many small round tables of four to six guests. This will enable the couple to sit at each table.
If there are too many tables, the bride and groom may not get the chance sit at every table.
10. Criss Cross Seating
The criss-cross seating plan is dynamic, unique and is bound to capture the gaze of your guests.
It is ideal for a bold and elegant evening reception. Use long, rectangular-shaped tables and arrange them to form an X.
To pull off this seating arrangement, use a ballroom venue. It has an expansive space.
For your decor, choose elegant linen. Blend its colours with hanging lights and crystal chandeliers. This will help you achieve harmony in its look.
This seating arrangement is great for an outdoor reception. It can also work inside a barn for a rustic-themed wedding.
Arrange long tables to meander, giving the setting an elegant look.
This is an intimate setting. Guests sit in proximity, allowing room for conversation.
Because of the intimate setting, beware of existing feuds and keep guests apart who don’t get along.
Place guests next to people they know and can get along with. This will provide room for interactions even as they enjoy the wedding.
Do not play cupid on guests by placing singles together. Seat them next to people of the same age group and let conversations flow.
12. U-Shaped Seating
Many people also know it as a horseshoe seating plan. Arrange long tables to form a letter U. It is ideal for a small, intimate wedding with few guests.
Keep the inside of the horseshoe empty so waiters can have ample space to serve guests.
When done with dining, use the space for dancing or for people to stand when making speeches.
This style has a warm and friendly communal feel. Guests get a view of everyone.
Match your unique seating arrangements with linen from Australian Linen Supply.
Why Australian Linen Supply?
- They stock linen of various patterns, colours and styles.
- They are affordable.
- They offer free delivery within Australia
Contact your local supplier today!
Feature Image: freepic-diller