Should My Parents Sit with my Spouse's Parents at the Reception?

Julian Kanz

Creating a seating chart for your wedding reception can be a little tricky—you want your guests to feel comfortable at their assigned table and enjoy the company of their tablemates. At the same time, you don't want to make the task too stressful for yourself and your partner and that can sometimes be the case when it comes to parents. Maybe your parents and your S.O.'s parents don't know each other that well. Maybe your parents are divorced and your partner's aren't. Or, worst-case scenario, maybe they hate each other.

Whatever the case is, the question becomes: Should you seat them all at the same table? Our wedding etiquette expert is here with the answer.

Traditionally, the parents all sit at the same reception table, along with siblings not in the wedding party, the officiant and his or her spouse (if they attend the reception) and any grandparents. But some couples arrange for two-parent reception tables so that each set of parents can sit with more of their relatives (such as siblings) and close friends.

You might also choose separate parent tables if your parents don't know each other very well, or if they've never met before and you don't want them to feel uncomfortable (of course, depending on your parents, sitting together at your wedding might be a great introduction).

Another option is having you and your spouse sit with your parents and let that be the head table and place the wedding party at their own tables.

Also, if either of your parents is divorced, you'll probably want to have each parent and his or her spouse host their own table. This could be a total of four parents' tables, but the seating situation will hopefully get rid of any awkwardness that might arise otherwise.

If you're unsure what to do or want to make sure everybody is comfortable, don't hesitate to ask your and your spouse's parents if they have a seating preference before making your final decision.

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