Weddings are fun and exciting for your guests—especially when they are going to be reconnecting with old friends, or spending the day with their favorite people—but that's not always the case. Sometimes, you invite a guest who only knows you, or else is the only single person within their group of friends. It can be awkward and uncomfortable for them, especially if they find themselves seated at a table with a bunch of other people in the same situation. But it doesn't have to be. We spoke to three wedding professionals to get their tips on how to seat a killer singles table.
Check in with Your Guests
Heather Jones with Wente Vineyards suggests talking to your single guests ahead of time to make sure they are on board with being sat at a table with strangers. "Weddings can be uncomfortable if you don't know many people, and it's best to keep in mind that not everyone wants to be set up just because they're planning to attend alone. You don't want to put too much pressure on anyone." If they do mind, Jones suggests mixing up your tables so that singles are seated with other couples around them—it's an easy way to ensure that nobody feels left out.
Skip the Singles Table Entirely
"Remember that a singles table is not always necessary," says Kylie Carlson, CEO of the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. A singles table could stigmatize your guests, so don't feel compelled to have one if you don't want to, or if you don't think your guests will be entirely on board with it.
Location, Location, Location
Shannon Tarrant, founder of WeddingVenueMap, says if you want a singles table where people feel more like part of the party, pick a location with some traffic—near the dance floor or the bar is a good idea. "Make sure this table is not in the corner or all the way in the back. It's important for these guests to feel welcome and a part of the event, not awkward and an outsider," she says. This will also give them a chance to interact more easily with guests that are not seated at the table with them. And if you want to make it easier for your single guests to interact during the reception, put someone in charge of introductions. You can pick a close friend or family member who knows a lot of your guests already and ask them to make introductions during the cocktail hour. This will give them time to connect with each other before they get to their table.
Just Don't Seat Former Couples Together
The one thing all three of the wedding professionals we spoke to agree on is that no matter how you seat your singles table, make sure you aren't sitting any former couples together. The heightened emotions of a wedding can reopen even the oldest of wounds for some.