Indian Reception Seating Arrangements

This article is presented by blogger Miss Indian Bride. With years of wedding planning experience behind her, there is nothing she hasn't dealt with, and no wedding planning topic she doesn't have a strong opinion on!

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Wedding planning comes with two hugely yucky tasks: creating the guest list and arranging the reception seating. Hopefully, this article will help you better cope with the latter.

With so much family, forming seating charts for South Asian weddings can be a tormenting process. While there is no way to keep everyone happy, hopefully you can maneuver some major pitfalls.

1. Family
Run your final seating chart by both families. I’m mentioning this first, because it is incredibly important. South Asian weddings are not ALL about the couple, and family plays a major role. Your parents may be really close to relatives you don’t really know and may want them seated closer to their own tables. Plus, your parents will know the social norms in your community.

2. Back Tables/Tables by DJ/Tables by Kitchen
Occupy these tables with people you ‘had’ to invite, but don’t care that much for: coworkers, people you used to be good friends with, neighbors, people that invited your parents to weddings, etc. Chances are these people don’t care that much about you either, and won’t be offended.

3. No Castaways
If you have a group of friends and don’t have space to seat them all on one table, don’t castaway just one or two to a table full of strangers. That’s just rude. Instead, divide your friends equally amongst the two tables and fill any extra seats with close cousins. I know a couple that made this mistake last summer, and their castaways were annoyed enough to leave early.

4. Singles Tables
Don’t have them.

5. Ego Plays
Is there an aunt or uncle that will alarm the guards if not placed next to the head table? Definitely check with your parents to see whose ego needs to be assigned where. The last thing you want is for a crazy uncle to be expressing his disappointment rather loudly during your reception.

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6. Be Respectful
Be considerate of the elderly and of people with disabilities. Don’t put an elderly grandmother next to the DJ.

7. Mind the Distance
If a guest has traveled the seven seas to witness your wedding, give them a decent seat.

8. Children
If you’re inviting children to the wedding, don’t jump to placing them at a ‘kiddie’ table. You’ll need to account for age and personality- will these kids be nervous being away from their parents in such a large setting?

9. Vents
Avoid placing tables under vents.  I’ve been seated at tables under vents and was too busy shivering to enjoy the reception.

10. Parents
Often, the bride and groom’s parents host their own tables with their own close family and friends. If both sets of parents want to sit together and also want their respective guests at the table, consider having a long rectangular table just for them.

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Read more advice from Miss Indian Bride on her website, http://www.missindianbride.com

Wedding planning comes with two hugely yucky tasks: creating the guest list and arranging the reception seating. Hopefully, this article will help you better cope with the latter. With so much family, forming seating charts for South Asian weddings can be a tormenting process. While there is no way to keep everyone happy, hopefully you can maneuver some major pitfalls.

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