Figuring out where each of your guests will sit brings up a lot of questions — and a lot of politics. From aunts who haven’t spoken in years to divorced parents to that high school friend who doesn’t really know anyone, picking a seat for each guest can be stressful! And while at this point anyone who has agreed to be in your wedding party pretty much has to follow whatever directions you give them, you’ve still got to decide where they’ll sit. So do you have to seat them all together? Our experts weigh in.

Where you seat your wedding party depends on where you’ve decided to seat yourselves. If you’ve opted for a sweetheart table instead of a head table, you can either have a separate table where your bridesmaids and groomsmen all sit together (either themselves or along with their dates), or you can opt to have them serve as hosts for a few tables throughout your reception. The latter is a great option if you’re bringing a number of groups of friends together who don’t know one another: Split up your wedding party to host tables full of guests they know, or mix-and-match and ask them to introduce everyone and get the conversation started.

If you’re having a head table, the traditional option would be to seat your bridesmaids and groomsmen by your sides, whether on either side of the two of you or alternating around the table. If you have the space, invite their dates and plus-ones to join you, as well.

You could also opt for a family head table, sitting with your parents and siblings and having your wedding party host other tables.

If you do decide to have your bridesmaids and groomsmen sitting at separate tables, try to disperse them evenly throughout the room. Even if three of your bridesmaids are close friends and the other two are from different phases in your life, avoid the urge to seat those ‘maids together and separate the rest of them — you wouldn’t want those two remaining bridesmaids to feel left out of the fun!


by Jaimie Schoen