Post # 1
I’m currently working on some hypothetical seating charts based on who I’m pretty sure will attend and I’m pretty stumped on how to assign tables. We have a huge group of shared friends (college – 60%) as well as our own friends (family, work, other random friends – 20% each).
I’m thinking of skipping the head-table all together and maybe only have a sweatheart table. Each member of our bridal party will be at separate tables. Any other ideas?
And the big issue: Did you put groups of friends at one table (all college) or did you divide it up (4 college, 2 his only, 2 her only) based on interest?
We have so many college friends who all know each other really well – lots of inside jokes and obnoxiousness. I’m afraid those tables are going to be really fun, while a table with a bunch of random people will be awkward with no conversation. I tried switching it up but then I’m concerned that the 4-6 who know eachother will have a great time and the other 2-4 will be left out.
Post # 3
I actually just did a table breakdown because I was avoiding real work… >.>
We’re having a sweetheart table, which I’m not wild about but it’s the arrangement that fits our venue best, will give us a few minutes to actually talk, and is also the table we’ve sat at almost every time we’ve been at the place… so is ok.
I distributed the bridal party at tables immediately around us. Most tables I tried to either group people that would know each other (ie, work friends, family friends) or that have common interests (ie, a few doctors, all at the same table) or common age range.
Post # 4
We are having a sweetheart table!
Besides that we are having all round tables of 8. One will have our bridal party, one will have my parents and their “VIPS” the other the grooms parents and their “VIPS” and then after that broken down by approximate age groups. I definitely like sitting with people around my age at weddings so I’m returning the favor!
Post # 5
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
We’re going to have royal/king’s tables throughout, and we will be at the center of the longest one with no one sitting in the space directly across from us (but still down the sides on the side of the table). I would put people who know eachother with eachother, and then put the solo people together if possible, but if not near people of similar age.
Post # 6
You probably know, I am a big believer that there is no such thing as “wedding etiquette”. Weddings are just one of many celebratory events worthy of formal celebration, and the same etiquette that applies to any formal seated dinner applies to wedding dinners. Formal dinners don’t have the category “Bride and Groom” and “Bridal Party”. They have “Host and Hostess”, “Guests of Honour” and “Guests”. So the question is, which dinner-party role is being played by the Bridal Party?
At a banquet with multiple tables, the guests of honour are usually seated at the same table as the host and hostess. At traditional weddings hosted by the bride’s parents, the bride and groom and the wedding party are typically the guests of honour, so they all end up sitting together. Society mavens who are intimate with the hostess head the other tables as proxie for the hostess. They take responsibility for intervening in conversations that are going awry, drawing out the shy guests, quelling the obnoxiousness of college chums, and so on. The hostess makes their job easier, by mixing up the guests at the table, so that even when close chums are seated at the same table they are not right next to each other; and family members such as husband-and-wife or sister-and-sister are always given someone else as their immediate table nieghbour. That encourages general coversation, and everyone (even college chums) is expected to do his part in engaging everyone else in the conversation (not doing so is unkind and gauche.)
So, if you are the host and hostess, you should be seated with your guests of honour. If your bridal attendants are your guests of honour, you should be seated with them. If, instead, they are your intimate, reliable society mavens, they should be scattered among the guests — but then who are your guests of honour? Many bridal couples try to combine the role of “host” (having the right to make all the decisions — and the corresponding responsibility to put their guests’ needs first) with the role of “guest of honour”. That way, you can sit by yourself at the sweetheart table. But, it tends to highlight the idea that you are throwing a party in your own honour.
A sweet alternative (suggested, surprisingly, by Sophia-of-the-acid-Tongue!) is to make your parents your guests of honour, and have a head table with just yourselves and them! This has the advantage that — since the guests of honour are supposed to be the first to leave and no properly-reared guest will depart before they do — that you can stay and dance to the very end and bid a proper goodnight to your very last guest, without the guests wondering whether they are free to leave yet.