Reception seating (parents)

posted 2 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
4594 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

In the UK at least the parents traditionally sit at the top table.

I think you should choose what works for you. We had every intention of mixing up aunts and uncles from both sides but decided it was better to sit them with people they know in the end.

Post # 3
4904 posts
Honey bee

I would leave it. 

What are you hoping to gain by forcing them to sit at the same table?  It’s eating dinner.  Let people eat their dinner by the people they like.

Post # 4
8279 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: Dorset, UK

As PP said, in the UK the tradition is a top table. For example, ours will be bride and groom, brides parents, grooms parents, my Maid/Matron of Honor (sister) and Best Man. My family will sit by my side and FH’s family will sit by his. But, for you, just do whatever makes you happy. We don’t have to stick with tradition. 

Post # 5
116 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: City, State

You asked them to make a seating chart for “everyone in their family” so they probably thought they were included in that. Do they have a strained relationship with your parents? I would leave it alone then. Otherwise, you could mention that your parents were interested in sitting with them and see how they feel about it.

Post # 6
2163 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I’ve never been to a wedding where the bride and groom’s parents sit together. There’s usually a table for the bride’s parents and close family and a table for the groom’s parents and close family (they basically get to choose who they want to sit with).

Post # 7
1837 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

I don’t think it’s really a tradition. I originally wanted to do that. It just made more sense to split them up so they could be with other members of the extended family, who otherwise would have been difficult to seat near other people. 

Post # 8
520 posts
Busy bee

I’ve read in the US/Canada that people do both..Some people sit their parents together, others at two seperate tables.  My parents already told me they want to sit with their friends, not my fiances parents.

Post # 9
7582 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

These days you can buck tradition. I think you should let them sit where they would feel most comfortable.

We opted for a sweetheart table just the two of us, our parents are both divorced/remarried so each parent got their own table to host whomever they wanted. That was the easiest way to do it.

When my brother got married they opted to have the parents sit with them, as tradition, and our parents were miserable. It did not go over well because the bride’s parents were giant sticks in the mud. 

Post # 10
14179 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Seating can be done however the host wants it. If you gave your future mother in law the option of planning her family seating chart, then that’s what you did. 

At the great majority of weddings I attend in the US today, parents sit with their own family or friends. When there is a head table it usually consists of the bridal party or the couple’s friends. And some people do those sweetheart tables. Occasionally I’ve seen the what you had in mind. My personal preference is the same as your future mother in law’s. 

In any case, the parents and the couple are rarely in their seats.

The actual tradition is something most people would no longer consider. Groomsmen and bridesmaids together and all couples separated to promote mingling.

Post # 11
232 posts
Helper bee

My parents wanted to sit with their own family and friends for the reception. I was completely fine and expected that. Likewise my Future Mother-In-Law wanted to sit with her other son and Grandaughter. 

My parents paid for a big portion of our reception so I let them pick who they got to sit with. They chose my Uncle, Aunt and Cousin (on my Dad’s side), my Dad’s Best friend and his wife and my parents other best friend and his girlfriend. 

ILs ended up with their son, DIL, granddaughter and two siblings and spouses of my MILs. 

For the rest of my DH’s family, I just stuck them at tables by family. So Mom, Dad, their adult children and spouses, and then the single uncles filled in the gap.

My DH funnily enough was so mad that I went ahead and did the seating chart myself (his friends and family included), he had literally no changes and thought I did a better job than he would have done haha. 

Post # 12
510 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

View original reply
almk87 :  Our parents didn’t sit together. We sat my parents with my dad’s parents, my aunt and uncle and the junior groomsmen (my cousins), my husband’s father with his sister, my mom’s mom and my other aunt, uncle and cousins (flower girl and ring bearer). Then my husband’s mom was seated with her 3 girls (my husband’s half sisters) and some of her family. It’s just what made the most sense for us. I recommend not getting too many opinions from family on your seating chart or it will make it harder. Sit down with your fiance and do it together. Put guests that are directly related together and then non-family members with people they’d know or potentially feel comfortable with due to age or occupations

Post # 13
7976 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Ive never heard of this tradition. 

My mom had her own table, and picked who she wanted there. My inlaws had their own table, and picked who they wanted there. 

Post # 14
1385 posts
Bumble bee

Our parents were at separate tables with close family and friends they wanted to sit with. 

Post # 15
14 posts
  • Wedding: June 2019

My daughter is doing something perhaps a bit different.

There will be the head table of course, consisting of the bridal party.

She then wants a special table for the parents and grandparents.  Her dad and I are divorced, but both families get along fantastically so sitting together will be great.  

After dinner, she knows that we will all be hopping from table to table, but for dinner she wants us to be at a special table.


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