A lot of wedding traditions change and evolve over the years as modern couples desire to make plans that are more suited to their interests, personality, and that reflects their relationship together. For some brides, that means forgoing the removal and tossing of the garter belt or choosing to not toss the bouquet. For some grooms, that means bucking tradition and not having a bachelor party but instead plan a pre-wedding date night with his future bride. Whatever your thoughts on these age-old activities and ideas for weddings, you need to pick which traditional elements best suit your classic wedding reception. From choosing a reception menu to plotting out reception seating charts, a lot will depend upon the decisions you make regarding wedding reception locations near Pawtucket and the surrounding Southcoast area.
The Case for Seating Charts
One of the traditional methods of planning a classic wedding reception is sitting down with the wedding planner or maid-of-honor to create reception seating charts. Figuring out where you want everyone located during dinner service, toasts to the couple, and other included activities within the overall event can be a challenge. You need to consider all family relationships, friendships, tensions, and potential issues that might arise when seating people together. You also need to think about single guests and where they might be able to sit that would make them feel most comfortable. Mixing in the “bride’s side” and the “groom’s side” is sometimes considered a mistake by some planners, but if the families are close and the relationships are solid, this can sometimes be an advantage.
A seating chart also makes it easier for caterers to serve meals, especially if you will be offering specialty plates. Gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, and allergy restriction options can make it essential for wait staff to know which plated meals should be delivered where throughout the reception. You also want to avoid everyone fighting over certain seats to be closer to the wedding party or having someone get left out because they didn’t get to sit where they thought they should. Assigning seats means that no one can blame anyone else for where they were seated – except maybe the bride, groom, and the wedding planner.
How to Avoid Seating Charts
If you don’t like the idea of seating charts, there are a couple of ways around this. When choosing a reception menu, you could decide on a cocktail-style reception instead where the guests would stand around and socialize with one another while eating. Smaller weddings can also get away without seating charts. However, if you want to make sure that your immediate family, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and other people that you hold close are sitting close to you on your wedding day, you can create a family-only or wedding party-only table and let everyone else seat themselves.
Buffet food service can also overcome the issue of caterers with special meals for those with dietary restrictions. Just make sure that you work with the caterer to make the signs on each item within the buffet very clear about the ingredients. People with peanut, tree nut, dairy, gluten, and other allergies are used to making sure that the food they are going to eat does not contain allergens. Your caterer can help you choose a menu for wedding receptions near Pawtucket that will address a wide range of these issues. You could even place extra signs for those who are dieting, such as keto-friendly, paleo-friendly, all-organic ingredients, or whatever else you want to highlight.
Two Types of Seating Guides
Once you decide what you are going to do, it’s time to address the issue. If you are going to make reception seating charts for your classic wedding reception, you need to decide how you are going to present the seating arrangements. You can create a seating chart that matches the color and style of your wedding theme and artfully decorate it as a creative way of showing everyone where they can sit. You can use place cards to show people exactly where you want them seated or simply assign guests to a particular table, where they can pick any chair that they want within that group.
Place cards can be a bit stressful, deciding exactly where people should sit based on friendships, relationships, history, and tensions. Many couples choose to simply go with the table assignment route and let the guests sit where they feel comfortable. It saves time having to painstakingly go through each guest and each table, especially if you are hosting a significant event with 100 or more guests. Choosing a reception menu and planning other activities for your classic wedding reception will take up a lot of your time, so if you can make it easier by merely assigning tables, this can be a helpful solution.
Custom Wedding Packages
Start planning your special day at The Crystal Room in Milford, MA. Located just a few minutes across state lines in Southeastern Massachusetts, we are one of the most popular wedding reception locations near Pawtucket. Our team of highly trained and experienced event coordinators can help you with choosing a reception menu, identifying reception seating charts, and making all other necessary plans for your classic wedding reception. Give us a call at 508-478-7800 to schedule a tour of our venue or to speak with one of our team members about your wedding plans.