Rhode Island Wedding Guide

Wedding Planning

Seating Arrangements

Careful attention should be paid when arranging seating at the wedding reception. You want to ensure that all your guests will be comfortable.

Here are some guidelines for creating your seating chart.


Photo by Daniel Doke Photography

The Main Table
The main or head table seats the bride and groom and the rest of the wedding party. This table is usually located in a central place, so that all guests may see the wedding party. The bride and groom sit in the center of the table, with best man next to the groom and the maid of honor next to the bride. The other attendants are seated, alternating man and woman.

You do not have to have a head table that includes the wedding party. You can have the head table include just the bride and groom. This especially works if you have a large wedding party.

Parents' Table
Both sets of parents may be seated at the same table or you may choose to have a separate table for each set of parents. The officiant and their spouse should sit at the host's table.

If your parents are divorced, seat them at separate tables. One parent can sit with the groom's parents and the other parent can sit with the officiant or other family members.

Guest Tables
You will need to finalize your seating arrangements approximately two weeks before your wedding day. Not sure who to put where? Well, here are a few tips for seating your guests:

  • Guests should be seated at tables where they will feel comfortable. Therefore, be sure to seat people with similar interests together.
  • Seat people of similar ages at the same table.
  • Seat relatives that haven't seen each other (due to distance, not differences) in a long time. They would probably love to catch up on old times.
  • If your parents are divorced, seat them at separate tables. One parent can sit with the groom's parents, and the other parent can sit with the officiant or other family members.
  • Try seating an even number of guests at each table. This way there won't be an "odd man out".
  • Seat the guests that love to dance near the dance floor. They will get the party started!
  • Have a children's table. Include coloring books, crayons and games to keep them entertained.
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