Wedding Reception Seating Options | Jill Gum, Guest Blogger
This week we’re taking a break from blogging while we take in the experience of WPPI, and we’ve handed over the reins to some of our friends, and each day we’ll be sharing a blog from someone we love!
First up this week: Jill from Jill Gum Photography, talking about wedding reception seating options. Take it away, Jill!
Hi friends, I’m Jill from Jill Gum Photography in the middle of the corn fields in Central Illinois! I am a wedding and portrait photographer living in the country with my husband, 2 toddlers, and Aussie pup. We love it here, but I am CONSTANTLY of Ashley and Randy’s year-around warmth, gorgeous mountain settings, and neutral landscapes! I’m so honored they let me talk (write) to you today!
One of the parts of Wedding Photography that I have immensely enjoyed is getting to see the creativity of my brides and grooms come to light during their wedding day. I’m a bit of a typical girl- I love fashion and jewelry and details and decorations- so seeing how they choose to employ those facets of their day is so fun! The reception is a place where a lot of that comes into play, and something that is particularly fun for me is seeing the different types of reception seating people can use. I want to talk a little about the most common options I see, and some of the benefits of each!
This includes a head table with the bride, groom, and full bridal party, and then usually round tables of 8 people, with the family being close to the front with the bridal party. This is great because it gives the bride and groom more time with those they have chosen to spend their day with, and a lot of pressure comes off because you are sitting usually at the middle of a large banquet table and can therefore get there, sit, and stay for a while without having to constantly move around and talk to others- because that isn’t really an easy option! This is ideal for more traditional couples and for more formal events. People typically expect to see a long table with all the bridal party on an end of the room- giving the bride and groom a full view of it all! It is a beautiful and classic choice.
This option has the bride and groom at their own table, sometimes in different parts of the room. My husband and I did this at our wedding. I think this is a great choice if you don’t mind chatting a bit with guests during this time (there was much easier access to us than at a full banquet table in the middle of many people)! We chose it because our bridal party weren’t necessarily all close friends to each other, and we had a smaller wedding, so we wanted them to sit with the people they came with! So our bridal party sat among the other guests at regular tables with their dates or family. I was at a wedding once with a 4 person bridal party total, so we all sat at a regular table with the bride and groom and our significant others- I loved that too! A modified sweetheart table of sorts!
This doesn’t necessarily have to match what the bride and groom and bridal party are doing, but I have been to quite a few weddings with banquet tables for the guests- so a smaller number of really long tables where the guests are all sitting together versus many smaller tables. I admit, I love this- there is such a homey, community- type feel to this seating. Depending on whether it is benches or chairs, it can be more difficult for our grandmas and grandpas, and certainly takes up a different type of space in a venue so it doesn’t work everywhere- but it gives the guests such good access for chatting and getting to know each other, and gives you MUCH less table arranging to do- so I love that!
Lastly, some couples choose to formally seat the bridal party and bride/groom, and maybe reserve a couple of tables for family close to the front, but then just leave the rest of the seating open for the guests to decide! This is a great option for smaller or less formal weddings, and saves the bride and groom a ton of time working on seating arrangements, which is great! I think people probably worry that some guests wouldn’t get to sit together/etc if the tables filled up, but I have never seem that happen- it seems to go pretty smoothly! I think this is a great option as well!
In the end, you have to go with the feel that makes the most sense for you and soon-to-be-spouse and your venue!! I have seen a lot of brides really worry about assigning seats at their weddings and the “singles” table versus the divorced parents, etc and I get it because I was one of them. But in the end- it’s a wedding, and the people who are there love and adore you and can move around right after dinner if they want to be somewhere else- so don’t sweat it! It will all work out! It’s just another piece of the puzzle to the wedding of your dreams! I hope this is helpful as you are planning your reception options!