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Round Table, Theatre , Lounge: What's the best seating style for your wedding?

BY Sakshi | 16 Jul, 2016 | 8222 views | 5 min read

So everything's sorted... the date, the perfect venue, the décor you always dreamed of and it's all coming together just like how you imagined! One very important factor that's easy to miss is choosing how to seat your guests for every function... and yes, there's more than one! And if you're planning your wedding yourselves, this is something that needs some thought, as the type of function and the number of guests is what it mostly depends on. So to make things easier for you, we asked a few experts in the industry to give us the low-down! The two most common seating arrangements used in Indian wedding functions are Theatre-style and Round Table seating.

Theatre-style Seating

Photo by Pixelstory.in★ 5

This is probably the simplest style of seating, which is like the seating found in a theatre which chairs aligned in straight consecutive rows. Lets discuss the pros and cons of this kind of seating arrangement. Pros
  • Everyone faces in the same direction, so it is good to direct everyone to look at the stage, either at the seated couple or performances.
  • This is what provides maximum seating capacity in whatever room or hall that has been booked. So a lot of guests can be accommodated.
  • No one faces each other, so audience interaction is limited.
  • It's sort of a pain to get seated, get out of the row as you have to cross other people, like in a theatre.
  • Aisles are required to ease the seating arrangement.
  • It becomes hard to serve and eat or drink food and beverages when people are seated this way as rows can be narrow and there are no tables.
Wedding event it is suited for: Engagement, Sangeet . If you have a very big wedding and limited space then wedding Although a lot of South Indian weddings happen in halls with theatre style setting, it is the Sangeet which experts recommend it for, that too when there are a lot of people and performances... otherwise, they recommend mixing things up a bit! Shreya from Krafted Knots says, “A theatre style seating works well if there is a performance on stage or if guests are expected to sit and watch what's happening. If guest numbers are high and it's not a floating crowd, theatre style seating becomes necessary for accommodating the guests. If we do use theatre style seating, we prefer not to place the chairs in straight rows. Adding aisles, curves to the rows and small clusters, can make the conventional theatre style seating look a lot more suitable for a wedding.” Kirti from Weddings by Kirti★ 4.7 adds, “When the event is more performance driven and there is a lack of space - Not a fan of pure theatre style, I'd mix it up!”

Round Table Seating Style

Decor by Q Events by Geeta Samuel★ 4.2

Within this, it can be of two types... Banquet and Cabaret. Banquet Style This is similar to a round table dinner, with the audience seated around the circumference, facing inner wards. Cabaret Style Similar to the previous style, but there is an open end on every table, so that no one's back is towards the stage and everyone can face the stage. Pros
  • Audience interaction is as good as it gets- everyone on a particular table faces each other.
  • Everyone can eat and drink properly as they have a table to rest their plates and glasses on.
  • Better for showing off personalised elements like centrepieces and coasters.
  • Becomes easier to serve people food and drinks in a setting like this one as the waiters have good access to everyone.
  • It is not a very efficient use of space- the seating capacity is highly reduced.
  • Can be more expensive to pull off as linen and centrepieces are required on each table.
Wedding event it is suited for: Receptions or intimate Weddings Kirti from Weddings by Kirti★ 4.7 says, “Personally, I think the round table seating is great not just in terms of convenience for guests, but also enables conversation amongst groups of people. I'd think it works where there is a ample space and also if the feel of the event is slightly relaxed. In India, at least in the south most clients still prefer the theatre style seating for their guests. However, the trend now is a mix of theatre style (with maybe a coffee table to place drinks/food) and then round tables behind that.” Shreya from Krafted Knots adds, “I personally, find round table seating styles a lot more elegant and appropriate for a wedding. The tables can be dressed up beautifully and centrepieces can add to the décor of the space. We have noticed that our clients, too, prefer round table seating. The limitation of a round table seating style is that it can seat only limited number of guests at a time. Thus, if the guest numbers are low, or if the event expects a floating crowd, round tables work very well.” Shreya also gives us the low-down on other styles of seating which are popular at Indian wedding functions...

Amphitheatre Style Seating

Decor by The Wedding Soul★ 4.9

This works very well for seating around a mandap, allowing everyone to watch the ceremony without obstruction.

Lounge Style Seating

Photo Courtesy: Aviraj Saluja

This includes using sofas and coffee tables, and works well for more informal parties or pre-wedding events like a cocktail and dinner evening. It also adds to a more casual, yet intimate ambience.

Takhat or Divan Style Seating


Photo: The Wedding Salad★ 4.9

This is low seating, and works very well for Haldi and Mehendi ceremonies where bright colours and the Indian-ness of the seating style can add to the fun themes.

Square or Rectangular Tables

These are not as common as Round tables and therefore can create a definitive style statement.

1463214408_96Photo Courtesy: Bougainvilla Design★ 4.9

Chairs are important too! Using interesting chairs into seating arrangements is another fresh way to go about things. Wooden chairs for a garden or outdoor event, garden furniture for lawn events, chiavari chairs for banquet events, all add a unique dimension!
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