Filipinos have a unique way of celebrating, and weddings are usually large gatherings of extended families and friends. While wedding receptions are fun events, some couples might find it tricky to come up with a seat plan.

Lia Bernardo and Rachel Martelino of Bridesmaids & Co., who are experts in the wedding industry, are aware of the usual concerns for Filipino weddings. With the Pinoy culture in mind, the two share tips on seating your guests.

Unassigned seating may work for most guests.

In general, Pinoys don't like being told what to do, so there's no need to assign seats to everyone. Try seating a few tables (i.e. family, elder guests, sponsors) and let the rest of your guests choose their own seats.

Another thing you can do instead of assigning a specific seat to each guest is to assign seating zones. For example, your relatives can sit anywhere at tables 1-3, while your husband's relatives can choose any of the seats at tables 3-6. That way, there is still a sense of order, but you're letting your guests choose where they want to sit.


When guests arrive, ask your registration attendants to hand out cards indicating your guests' zones. Guests can easily forget where they're supposed to sit, and the cards will remind them of their seats.

Treat your principal sponsors as VIP guests.

The spouses of your principal sponsors also deserve to be in a place of honor, so if you can, seat your ninongs and ninangs with their respective spouses. Or, you can have their spouses at nearby tables so they can easily check on each other.

Make sure no guest feels out of place.

Put people that know each other and get along in one table. If, for example, you'll be seating your barkada of eight at a table for 10, resist the urge to fill the remaining seats with people they don't know because that can create an awkward atmosphere. Or if you must seat strangers in one table, let them get to know each other prior to the wedding--the rehearsal dinner might be the best time to do this.


Buffets might not work well for black-tie receptions.

If you'll be asking your guests to come in formal attire, have plated meals served at the reception. Try to avoid buffet tables at black-tie affairs, because it would be awkward for guests to line up for food in their formal garb. If you have your heart set on a buffet meal, have plated meals served for your parents, principal sponsors, and elder guests.

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