One of the many challenges of planning a wedding is reception seating. Family and friends can be very picky about whom they sit next to at social occasions. You know you can't sit Aunt Ida next to Aunt Carol. Why? Because Aunt Carol stole Aunt Ida's boyfriend back in high school. It was in 1978, but they're still not speaking (I'm serious! This is a true story.) This is where your designated seating will come in handy. So grab your guest list and let's get started!
A great idea is using escort/table cards. Give some thought to hiring a calligrapher to write out your cards. Make it inviting by addressing the cards in an informal nature. Start by setting the cards up on a table near the doorway, or post a seating chart with each guest's name and table number. Make up a chart with table positions and fill in your guests' names. Note: Older guests should not be seated by the kitchen or by the band, as it may be difficult to hear. Your place cards should mark each seat at the bride or parents' table. When introducing certain guests to each other at a table, specify which seat they will sit at at the table. This can be done by putting the place card on a napkin or above the dinner plate. Make sure you write their first and last names on the card, as this will make it easier for them to converse.
Parents who are divorced or separated usually have their own tables that they are hosting. If the divorce/separation is amicable, the table can be hosted by both parents. It really depends on the situation.
Finally, if it is a small bridal party, I recommend seating spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends and significant others at the head table with the bridal party. Or seat them at a separate table together. By using some of these basic steps, your wedding day should be a successful one! Happy planning!