Tips for seating guests at your wedding reception. Seating charts can be a bit tricky. Coordinating who gets along and who doesn’t get along can be a huge pain in the neck. In addition, when you have a cousin that can’t stand your best friend from college and a crazy uncle that spits when he eats. It’s no wonder many couples leave this task until the last minute. And speaking of why that’s a mistake, let’s jump right into tips for seating guests at your wedding reception #1:

1.) Start planning early. While many couples use the excuse that planning their seating chart late in the game will help account for extra arrivals and missed RSVPs. The fact is it usually ends up as one more thing you must worry about in close proximity to the big day. So just as with any other aspect of wedding planning. Start planning your seating chart as early as possible. It’ll be much easier to fill in the gaps as people start trickling in rather than have to organize 250 people all at once.

2.) Categorize your guests. It might sound rude, but the fact is this little tip can help you get going if you don’t know where to start. Just write down how each guest knows you or your fiancé: bride’s college friend, groom’s family, bride’s family friend, and so on. Then arrange the tables by category. When one table runs out of people, fill in the extra chairs with a category that makes sense. Such as pairing the groom’s family friends with members of the groom’s family.

3.) Play matchmaker. We probably don’t have to tell you how notorious weddings are for hookups, so go along with it. If your fiancé is inviting his entire (mostly single) frat house from college, and you’re inviting all of your (also mostly single) old sorority sisters, save yourself and put them at tables nearby each other. Trust us. They will end up at the same table anyway.

4.) Separate the enemies. Just use common sense here. Don’t put your cousin and your college roommate anywhere close to each other if you think it might be a problem. Sure, they might act civil just for your sake, but no one will have a good time staring across the table at the mortal enemy.

5.) Go casual. If creating a seating chart drives you bonkers, you might want to rethink the idea. A more casual setting (like picnic tables at an outdoor wedding) is a great way to avoid the task altogether. You’ll want to ensure Grandma and Grandpa are guaranteed good seats with a good view; they deserve at least that much.

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