Planning Rehearsal Dinner Seating
Rehearsal dinner seating is a simple but essential part of the rehearsal dinner planning process. A poorly arranged table can be an exhausting experience for guests and can directly affect the enjoyment of the parties involved. To avoid this, you should evaluate your guests, their temperaments, and their connection to the other members of the wedding party. This will ensure that every member of your party is well served and their needs met for their maximum enjoyment of the event and wedding to come.
First, look at the arrangement of the dinner itself. Are you renting tables and having it catered, or are you going to have a restaurant host the event? It is best to have no more than 12 people at a table for maximum conversation and comfort. Make a diagram of the space and write all the names of the guests on small place cards. Once you have these aids, you can begin to arrange your rehearsal dinner seating chart to best suit your needs.
The bride and groom should sit in the center of the area, with the best man and maid of honor and their dates also sitting at this table. Fill in the remainder of the seats at this table with the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Remember to make room for each of their dates and add as many additional tables as needed. Do not separate the dates, as often these people are unfamiliar with the majority of guests and will feel uncomfortable if separated.
Next, set up tables and rehearsal dinner seating for the parents of the bride and groom. If there are complicated social structures, such as divorced couples or multiple parental units, be sure to allow each individual group their own table.
Allow ample room for each guest at each table and provide individualized service so everyone eats at relatively the same time.
Be conscious of the temperament and age of your guests and seat them accordingly. If your uncle is irreverent and boisterous, and your new aunt is religious and shy, it may be best to sit them at different tables. Be sure every table has at least one person who is skilled at conversation, and those who may bring up controversial subjects are seated with mellow non-confrontational personality types.
Also, be sure that the very young and very old are seated with people that will be respectful of the type of conversation and possible alcohol consumption that should be observed due to their age, as a matter of respect. Children should also be seated with their parents. It is not advisable to have a table dedicated to children only, unless the children are older, possibly teenagers to young adults, and all know one another.
Fill in any open spots you have left with the remainder of the guests and have place cards made for the event itself to avoid confusion. If you follow these simple steps and clearly define the rehearsal dinner seating, the dinner will be successful.