A wedding planner weighs in on this hot-button seating issue.
wedding reception tent
Credit: Jose Villa

Finalizing seating arrangements can be a stressful aspect of wedding planning. The bride and groom want all guests to feel content and comfortable, and they also want to avoid any unnecessary awkwardness or drama. Dealing with table dynamics is likely to bring one major question to mind: Should you have a singles table at your reception? A wedding planner breaks it all down here.

What is a singles table?

A singles table is exactly what it sounds like: a reception table made up of guests attending the wedding without dates. Bettina Benizri, owner and founder of Busy Bee's Events in Boca Raton, Florida, says many couples choose to have a singles table when they aren't sure where else to place solo guests, but it's worth putting a little thought into the decision. If many of the people attending your wedding without plus-ones don't know anyone, a singles table is a good option because your guests are with other people in the same position, Benizri says. But if they're part of the bridal party or know other guests, it's best to find a seat for them at a table with those they already know.

What are the advantages of a singles table?

There are a handful of advantages of having a singles table at your wedding reception. For starters, solo guests won't have to sit in silence while couples and relatives converse around them. Also, "there's the potential of someone meeting a significant other or even a friend," says Benizri. If two people sitting at the singles table hit it off, they won't have to enjoy the rest of the wedding alone.

What are the disadvantages of a singles table?

As a major disadvantage, most people negatively perceive singles tables at a wedding, and solo guests may feel awkward or ashamed if placed there. Also, conversation may lull since everyone at the table is a stranger. If you choose to mix singles with families and couples instead, talking becomes easier because some of the guests are already acquainted.

Should you have a singles table?

The decision to have a singles table depends on the couple's personal preferences and the overall setup of their reception. The bride and groom may feel that it will create less conflict among guests, and it eliminates the need to separate families, relatives, and couples. On the other hand, a bride and groom may worry that a singles table will inhibit socialization and create an awkward atmosphere. No matter which decision you make, remember that a singles table doesn't need to have a negative connotation. "It is not to be taken negatively, since most couples expect their guests only to sit down for a small amount of time to eat and then dance the night away," says Benizri.


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