How to Seat Your Guests at the Wedding ReceptionIt's one of the final tasks on your to-do list. Here's how to make playing musical chairs a breeze.
by The Knot
If you're having 25 guests at a buffet, you may or may not want to give people specific seating assignments. But if you're having 75 guests or more and serving a seated meal, you'll want to make sure everyone's got a specific place to sit. Why? For one, people like to know where they're sitting—and that you took the time to choose where they should sit, and with whom. It's also helpful if you're serving several different entrée choices, because the caterer and waitstaff can figure out beforehand how many chicken, beef and vegetarian dishes a given table gets, because they know who's sitting there. Read on for stress-free tips on how to seat your guests.
There are couples who've been at kitchen tables the night before the wedding (or even wedding morning) just starting their seating chart. Don't let this be you—you've got more important things to think about at that point. Sure, it's fine to make last-minute changes, but try to get the chart mostly done at least a week before the day.
Break It Down
Create a new spreadsheet. If you haven't already, insert a column into your guest list document categorizing all the invitees by relationship: your friends, your family, your partner's friends, your partner's family, your family friends, your partner's family friends and so on. This way, you'll be able to easily sort the list and break it down into more logical table assortments. Now you'll need to separate these lists into distinct tables.
Create a Paper Trail
If you're more visual, draw circles (for tables) on a big sheet of paper and write names inside them (make sure you know how many people can comfortably be seated at each table). Or you could write every guest's name on a sticky note and place it accordingly.
Head Up the Head Table—or Don't
A traditional head table is not round, but long and straight, and it's generally set up along a wall, on risers, facing all the other reception tables. Usually the newlyweds sit smack-dab in the middle (where everyone can see them), with the maid of honor next to the groom, the best man next to the bride, and then boy/girl out from there. But you don't have to do it that way. All the bridesmaids can sit on the bride's side, and all the groomsmen on the groom's. Or maybe you're not into being on display, or you don't want your wedding party to feel isolated from other guests. Let your wedding party sit at a round reception table or two with each other and/or with their dates, and have a sweetheart table for the two of you (to get a little one-on-one time). Another option: You two sit with your parents and let that be the head table, with the wedding party at their own tables.
Place Your Parents
Traditionally, your parents and your partner's parents sit at the same table, along with grandparents, siblings not in the wedding party, and the officiant and their spouse if they attend the reception. But if your or your partner's parents are divorced and are uncomfortable about sitting next to each other, you might want to let each set of parents host their own table of close family and/or friends. This could mean up to four parents' tables, depending on your situation—or have the divorced parent who raised you (or your partner) and their spouse/date sit at the table with still-married parents.
Remember, the parent-seating question is a flexible one. Set it up in whatever way best suits everybody. If you're unsure, don't hesitate to talk to the parents in question about it before you make your final decision.
There may also be situations in which certain family members just do not get along. Maybe they haven't spoken in years. Maybe the last time they saw each other at the last family wedding there was a drunken fight. Understandably, you want to keep them as far apart as possible. Think about these kinds of relationships (or lack thereof) before you even start making your chart, so you can take them into consideration in the first place and begin by seating Aunt Jane at table three and Aunt Lucy across the room at table 15. Trust us—they'll appreciate it.
Provide Reunion Time
All of your college or high school friends will be psyched to sit at a table together. It also gives them all an opportunity to catch up with each other, because they may not have seen each other for a while.
Your guide to wedding reception seating etiquette, here.
Four reception seating mistakes your guests don't want you to make, here.
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Engagement session on the grounds of #UVA in Charlottesville are always fun!⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .#Virginiawedding #virginiaweddingphotographer #weddingphotography #virginiaisforlovers #weddingphotographer #weddingfun #weddingtime #instawedding #weddingideas #instabride #weddingfashion #futuremrs #marryme #tyingtheknot #wifetobe #thatsdarling #heputaringonit #soloverly #brideandgroom #weddings #ohwowyes #flashesofdelight #realwedding #aisleperfect #theknot #realweddings #weddingday #picoftheday
July 31, 2017 at 06:29PM
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Your Complete Ceremony Site Checklist Read these seven steps to ensure every ceremony detail is accounted for.
by The Knot
From booking the site to saying your vows, here's every box to check off for a seamless ceremony at the venue of your dreams, whether it’s a house of worship, a botanical garden or a beachfront property.
1. Find and Book Your Site First, you need to find the right ceremony venue. Researching ceremony sites should be one of your first to-dos, so if you’re getting married in 14 months, start the search process about 12 months out. You’ll need someone to perform the ceremony too, so research officiants around the same time to make sure you can score them at the same time as your venue.
Think you’ve found the right spot? Amazing! Before you book, have a chat with the site manager to make sure all your questions are answered and your ceremony needs can be met. Same goes for your officiant—ask them these important questions and iron out all the details before you sign anything.
Now it’s time to make it official, and, as with all your pros, you should absolutely get it in writing. Along with the basics, like the date, location and time of your wedding, here are specific points to include on both your ceremony site contract and your officiant contract.
2. Rent Ceremony EssentialsNot every ceremony venue will have everything you need. If your site doesn’t include essentials like lighting, electricity, tables, chairs or suitable restrooms, you'll need to contact a party rental company to complete the space. On the other hand, you may only be missing ceremony-specific items, like a ceremony arch, mandap or chuppah. Here are some must-have items you might need to rent for your ceremony:
4. Meet With Your Officiant Again Set up a second meeting to discuss any literature you intend to incorporate with your officiant. This is also the time to ask your officiant for any ideas and advice if you’re stuck on which readings or customs to use.
Have your officiant give you a copy of their standard ceremony so you can ask questions, clarify uncertainties and make changes to suit you (if allowed).
If premarital counseling is required, this is the time to schedule it and go. (Here’s what you might expect from a premarital counseling session.)
5. Finalize the CeremonyBy now, you should have a pretty good idea of the overall structure and main elements of your ceremony, including readings, candle lighting, other special rituals and music, as well as who will participate in each. If not, now’s the time to enlist trusted loved ones to do a reading (this is a special way to include a dear friend or relative who isn’t in your wedding party).
6. Gather Ceremony ExtrasDetermine which of the following ceremony items you’ll need and start shopping or make arrangements to have them made or ordered. Don’t forget, your florist or planner may also be able to provide a few things.
Get more wedding ceremony inspiration, etiquette and planning tips right here.
Summer Wedding Myths Busted
We debunk five of the most common assumptions about summer weddings. Get ready to plan outside the box.
by Kate Wood
post credit: Theknot.com
The number one tip for planning a summer wedding? Don't be afraid to break the rules. Forget what you've heard about summer wedding dos and don'ts, and go your own way. Here, we crack open five summer wedding myths for good.
Myth 1: You have to have an outdoor wedding.
If you live in a cooler part of the country where the lush, green months of summer are precious, it may seem like you absolutely must head outside for your summer wedding. But if an outdoor wedding isn't what you've always dreamed of, an indoor space can be just as summery (and much more reliable). For one, if you're in a superhot climate, an indoor wedding will be way more comfortable for your guests who are dreading the heat. Beyond that, you can use your creativity and design skills to make an indoor space suit the season. Hang summer lanterns or create a summer flower-strewn indoor aisle, and choose a venue with large windows that let in lots of sunlight (or show off the moonlit night).
Myth 2: You need a bright, summery palette.
While many summer couples look to vibrant colors to reflect the season, it's most definitely not a requirement. If bold and bright just isn't your style, there's no need to force an intensely cheery palette into your look. Opting for a subdued color scheme is unexpected and lovely. For example, icy blue and gray lend a cool, refreshing tone to the atmosphere, and hints of black add an air of sophistication. For a surefire palette that works with almost any style—from black tie to relaxed and natural—consider a combo of white and ivory with green accents. An apple-green hue will give a preppy, fun feel, while a deeper green like loden or moss will imbue your nuptials with a subdued elegance. Peruse more gorgeous color pairings here for inspiration, for both bold and muted aesthetics.
Myth 3: You can't have a formal wedding.
Yes, high temperatures probably mean you should skip the stiff, heavy dresses made of taffeta and brocade, but you don't have to put your bridesmaids in dresses with high hemlines and have your groomsmen don loafers if it's not your style. Decide on a level of formality, and then work with your bridal salon and tux shop to explore your options. For a sophisticated, formal summer wedding, consider elegant silk sheaths for your bridesmaids and lightweight dark suits for the guys. You should be able to find attire that reflects the formality of your event, but won't leave you sweltering.
Myth 4: A city wedding won't work.
Summer is the season when many urbanites head for the hills or beach. But if you've always envisioned a chic city wedding, you can definitely still have it in the summer months. A rooftop ceremony or reception will give you an outdoorsy touch without sacrificing that quintessential urban feel. Loft spaces are also great for summer weddings. Awash in windows, you can avoid high temperatures while still taking advantage of bold sunsets and glittering skyline views.
Myth 5: The heat will ruin everything.
Of course, summers get hot—but don't let the naysayers get you down. If you know there's a decent chance it'll be especially toasty on your wedding day, make plans to avert any weather-related disasters. Avoid wilting blooms in the bouquets and boutonnieres by asking your florist to steer you toward hardier blooms, like orchids and lilies. Consider water-submerged centerpieces featuring Mokara orchids. Because the flowers are completely underwater, they'll keep cool all night long. And as for your wedding cake, get fondant instead of buttercream to avoid a melting mess. If you're set on the rich taste of buttercream, display the cake during your cocktail hour and then have the cake cutting at the beginning of your reception.
For the Bride-To-Be:A Woodsy Festival-Inspired Bridal Shower https://t.co/o2kytzZx6a @grnweddingshoes #bridalshow https://t.co/6yUl1gOh6d
Everyone You Need to Spend Time With at the Reception
Crystal Vandegrift is a wedding photographer covering Virginia, D.C. NC and Maryland.