One of the most dreaded planning components of any wedding is where and how to seat the guests. Long tables or rounds? Assigned seating or open seating? Can Aunt Martha sit at the same table with Uncle Bob? There is not really any easy way to figure it all out, but we can provide you with some ideas to help to make the decision on how the seating will work best at your wedding.
Long Tables or Rounds
To be honest, I really feel that either work. A lot of people will say that the long tables are not as good for conversation, but I can also see how the rounds may not be good for conversation either. So I would base it off of what you want your aesthetic to be in your space. It is very popular now to do a mix of shapes as well to give more movement to the room.
If you have under 50 guests at your event, you are more than welcome to skip the escort cards and just let your guests seat themselves. The only caveat I have for this, is to make sure you have a table, or tables, reserved for the bridal party and family. If you skip this part, the bride and groom may end up at a table that they do not want to sit at!
If you have over 50 guests, I highly recommend escort cards. An escort card is what guests pick up and “escort” them to their table. This could be anything from a tented card with their name and table number to a tag on their favor which they take to the table with them or a map on an easel with names in alpha order. One big thing that brides tend to forget is that the escort cards need to be in alphabetical order, not table number order, and it is so nice to hand them over to your planner or catering manager in that order. Saves tons of time!
If you are having more of an upscale event, or if you want to assign specific seats at the table, you would start with escort cards to get the guest to the table and then you would have place cards in front of each seat showing where that guest would sit. This is not necessary, but some couples find that they prefer this so that they know that people sitting next to each other at the table will make conversation.
One thing to consider when building your seating plan is that your guests will really only be seated for 1-1.5 hours. Most of them are all just waiting for the dance floor to open! So don’t stress about it too much!
Who? What? Where? When? Always big questions come up when figuring out who will toast the happy couple the weekend of their wedding. Here are some key ideas to help scheduling your toasting throughout your wedding festivities.
Who? Father of the Bride (Mother of the Bride could also do this with the FOB)
What? Usually toasts the couple and thanks everyone for coming to celebrate
Where? Typically this happens the night of the wedding
When? I like to recommend this toast right after everyone has taken their seats (after introductions and maybe even after the first dance). It typically is the first toast of the night
Who? Best Man
What? Usually toasts primarily to the Groom and their relationship, but brings in great stories about how the couple met and tries not to embarrass anyone….too much.
Where? The night of the wedding.
When? Can be after the Father of the Bride toast before dinner, or after dinner is complete.
Who? Maid of Honor
What? Usually toasts primarily to the Bride and their relationship, brings in great stories about hour the couple met. Usually less embarrassing and more sweet.
Where? The night of the wedding, unless the MOH would rather toast at the rehearsal dinner
When? After the Best Man toast.
Who? The Happy Couple
What? Usually thank their parents, the bridal party and everyone for coming and sometimes they share words about each other.
Where? This is usually at both the rehearsal dinner and the night of the wedding. The rehearsal dinner is to really thank family and bridal party with gifts and the wedding is to thank the guests for coming.
When? At the rehearsal dinner or wedding it is typically after dinner has completed.
Who? Parents of the Groom
What? Usually toasts the couple and the parents of the bride for hosting the next day
Where? At the rehearsal dinner if they are hosting
When? Before dinner is served
Who? Other Random Toasters
What? Typically the other random toasts are more like roasts
Where? At the rehearsal dinner. It is always good to let others toast you at the rehearsal dinner so that your wedding night is not full of tons of people talking which can take away from precious dance time.
When? After all of the toasting by the couple has completed.
Hello Moms! Your son or daughter just got engaged! How fun! How crazy! How overwhelming! You are going to have a crazy couple of months ahead of you in the planning process so we decided to collect a list of roles that you will have from now until “I Do”.
Mother of the Bride
You have always dreamt of this day when your little girl would find the love of her life and walk down the aisle! Be sure to remember that this is her wedding and she may have some crazy ideas, but you will have to be supportive throughout the stressful process. Here is a list of “Mother-of-the-Bride Roles” for you to keep in mind while she is planning away!
- Come up with a budget you are comfortable with early on in the process
- Make your guest list and keep in mind that it is not ideal for your daughter to meet anyone for the first time at her wedding!
- Be supportive! Times have changed and there is a lot of added stress that comes from planning a wedding. Be her rock when she needs it!
- Hire a planner! It is definitely a smart move - mostly because if you don’t have someone there the day of the wedding to help, you may be doing it all and not enjoying the day the way you should.
- Be available. There are lots of meetings and decisions that have to be made and you are most likely going to need to be by her side when she makes them. Be sure that you can make yourself available for her when needed.
- Get to know the next lady that we are going to talk about. The more you are on the same team, the easier the planning process will go!
Mother of the Groom
Your son found the love of his life and now the planning begins! Because you are the Mother of the Groom, you do not have as many roles as the Mother of the Bride, but we have come up with a list of things for you to keep in mind throughout the planning process!
- Make your guest list and keep in mind that it is not ideal for your son to meet anyone for the first time at his wedding!
- Be Supportive! Let your soon-to-be daughter-in-law live her wedding dreams even if it was not what you would had in mind.
- Find a great rehearsal dinner venue and include your son in the process.
- Find a beautiful Mother of the Groom dress and be sure to ask the bride what colors would be appropriate.
- Enjoy the process. Because it is not your daughter getting married, you really need to take a bit of a back seat on this one. When she wants your help, she will ask for it, but be sure she knows you are available!
- Get to know the next lady that we are talked about above. The more you are on the same team, the easier the planning process will go!
Plan. Relax. Enjoy.
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