You Can't Sit With Us: fun ways to seat your guests at your wedding reception

Updated: Mar 6

You might not want to hear this but... no one likes sitting at a table with 6-8 strangers or smelly Uncle Sam... whewww okay now that we've covered that...how do we avoid it?


I get it - your venue provides you the tables so you take what you can get. But what if we told you, you can utilize those tables in other ways to make your wedding a more intimate and less awkward setting? But there's a catch - round tables are out....



Make it Family Style

You're on a budget & your venue provides rectangle tables - PERECT. We are going to put all those tables


together in one or two (possibly 3) long straight lines and create a farmhouse style table. You'll use place cards for the wedding VIPS (parents, grandparents, siblings, wedding party & dates, etc.) but everyone else can choose their seat. This eliminates getting stuck next to someone and creates a large intimate setting. You'll chat with the people across from you and maybe on either side of you - but for the most part you've created an intimate setting that still feels like a large party!


If you don't assign seats - you can't do a plated meal.

What are your alternatives?

Think about family style (where each seat group of 4 gets a little platter in the center of the group. This still makes it feel very elegant and eliminates a large amount of work for you - creating that seating chart can be brutal.


Buffet or station dinners - catering or your coordinator will need to go up to each group of 4 personally to release tables or you can have dinner ready and set out at cocktail hour. Guests will take their time getting their dinner and have a seat - then the party can start as soon as you are ready! This is also a great opportunity for you as a couple to eat privately in your suite and enjoy each other for a little bit quietly. You also wouldn't need a sweetheart or head table with this setup!


Make it Intimate

I know not everyone can fit this in their budget - but if you can, let me tell you its worth it! Rent small tables from a rental company and give your guests a true date night with 2 per bistro table. This can be a

mixture of heights of tables and if you know there are some people who want to sit together, throw a table of 3 or 4 in there. Elevate it one step further and provide an individual signature bottle of wine or champagne at each table ready to self serve*. Lets be honest, so many couples - especially couples who are also parents, use weddings as a chance to dress up and have a date night. Creating an intimate setting for your guests with 2 or 4 to a private table really helps set the mood for your friends and family.




*selfservice of alcohol is dependent on venue rules & state/local laws.


This is the perfect setting to do a plated meal (if you assign tables) and makes it really easy on catering to know which guests get which dishes - and no mixup! You can also do a tasting platter style per table to match your favorite foods. Don't limit yourself with seating or food options.


Look Ma - no tables!

Okay the big one but my personal favorite for the right couple. Just ditch the tables all together. Hear me out....

Rent lounge sets from a rental company and place them in small groups with coffee or end tables at the lower level and scatter high tops around the room for anyone who wants to stand. Have cocktail type heavy passed foods and no seated dinner. This creates a mingle event where no one is stuck sitting at any one table and everyone is welcome to lounge or dance or chat as they please.


What are the perks?

The food comes to them.

The champagne or specialty cocktail comes to them.

They can eat throughout the whole party cause everything is passed.

There is no formal designated eating time.

You can have a variety of food options in small portions in stead of 1 choice in large portions.


Create a note on your invitation or wedding website & some custom signage so guests know what to expect throughout the night and don't miss out on a passed yummy because they think a full dinner is coming.


Perfect for wedding sizes of 40-70 people


If you're willing to try out some of these ideas but want additional guidance, give us call! We'd love to help your wedding visions come true and create a unique guest experience!



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