Seating plan for ceremony???

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Weddings & Anniversaries
5 replies 1K views
joolesw1972joolesw1972 Forumite
632 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Weddings & Anniversaries
We aren't having a seating plan for the meal as we want a buffet, partly because it's cheaper & partly to avoid having to do a seating plan!!!

For the ceremony (licenced venue) we would like the seating arranged in a semi circle/horse shoe shape as we want to walk down either side with our Mum's, best women & 3 flower girls each, that way we come in together and meet in the middle at the front, neither of us wanted to be 'given away' & my Dad is only just comfortable with the whole civil partnership thing!

Now to the tricky bit!!! Several of my partner's family don't talk to each other - but we're on good terms with them all, I think generally you would reserve the first couple of rows for family, but should we put names on the seats to ensure that mum's, flower girls etc have a seat at the front & her mum doesn't end up sat next to someone she doesn't talk to! That could be v uncomfortable. Even worse if there wasn't a seat free (my partner has quite a lot of family)

Aaaaggghhh!:eek: Thought I'd avoided this by letting people sit where they want at the meal!
Has anyone ever had probs with seating arrangements for the ceremony??
"Normal is not something to aspire to - it is something to get away from" - Jodie Foster


  • maggie111maggie111 Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    I can't understand your seating layouts at all to be honest but it really doesn't matter.

    First thing - will there be more seats than you need or will you have the perfect amount for guests?

    Basically, if you have more than required, people will sit away from each other so you don't have to worry.

    You really should reserve 5 or so seats for either side of the family - so that will ensure that if Aunt Ethel really hates MIL that Aunt Ethel wont sit on the front row just to pee off MIL.

    To be honest the only problem is the last few people to arrive - everyone will group together and the next group will sit a few seats away etc.... So the last 10 people will have to squeeze in and find seats (think cinema on a busy night!)

    But, by that time the ceremony will be close to starting and people will just murmer rather than have an argument/try to swap seats etc - they'll simply sit down and keep quiet.

    It would be quite weird to do seating arrangements - so I would just think that you can't micro manage everyone's lives and they will have to learn to deal with it!
    I love surprises!
  • JimmyTheWigJimmyTheWig Forumite
    12.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Have both mums got partners?
    If so, you need to put a "reserved" note on the first 6 chairs on the front row on either side.
    The mums' partners will take up one of those 6 on either side. The others will be for a mum, a best woman and 3 flower girls.
    (Depending on age of flower girls they might be better off with their family than on front row.)

    But if one of the mums doesn't have a partner then that might make things a little unsymmetrical.

    Agree with Maggie that generally people will sit with people they want to. As long as you reserve seats for the people walking up the ailse then you're fine.
    If you fear a punch-up / stand-up row then best to talk to the culprits before the day and say to leave each other alone - at least until the alcohol kicks in...
  • MsChazzerMsChazzer Forumite
    701 Posts
    We didn't have a seating plan for the meal as it was a barbecue and too much hassle but we did do a plan for some of the ceremony seating, if anyone was annoyed by it they didn't say. We've both got divorced parents and my family is bigger than my husbands, we wanted to make sure key people had someone there to support them if they got emotional. We also had the readers on the second row as one was my grandpa who we didn't want to have to walk too far. We also had to reserve the back rows for one family who were likely to arrive late and for our littlest bridesmaid and her family because she has a medical condition that meant she might need to leave the room during the ceremony.

    It may well have been over-organising but it worked and meant we weren't worrying about it.
    Got married 23rd May 2009, many thanks to all on the Weddings and Anniversaries board for their help and support!
  • Thanks, for your replies, - Maggie the layout we want is a semi-circle with no gap or "aisle" (sp?) in the middle as we wanted it a bit different.
    We don't want to do a plan for everyone's seating! That would drive me crazy! Just the first couple of rows. My partner's brother & uncle don't talk to her Mum & could sit there just to be awkward!

    Jimmy - yes my Mum & Dad are together, my partners Mum has an on/off bf & am not sure if we want him with family!!! We will be having a serious talk to all concerned before the day to make it clear that they are expected to behave or not come!

    MsChazzer - thanks for that, it sounds similar to what we now think we're going to do, we're thinking of putting just enough seats on the front row for the Mum's (& my Dad) the Best Women & the flower girls (the youngest may go sit with her parents), that avoids any problems with my partners mum & who sits where, we might also reserve some of the 2nd row at the end for people doing readings/music so they can get out easily.

    Another wondering - do we sit during the readings? or stay stood up at the front where we are?
    "Normal is not something to aspire to - it is something to get away from" - Jodie Foster
  • HoraceHorace Forumite
    14.4K Posts
    Another wondering - do we sit during the readings? or stay stood up at the front where we are?

    Normally you would be stood up at the front during the readings although the registrar may ask you to sit.
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