Wedding Seating Chart

While everyone dreams of a beautiful wedding day full of love, sunshine, and happiness, hardly anyone dreams of putting together a seating chart for their wedding guests. Of all the wedding planning things to do before the big day, the seating chart is perhaps the most dreaded. And for good reason: its a giant puzzle to assemble, theres no one right answer, and theres very little in the way of guidance on how to do it. Plus, you have your guests comfort and feelings to take into consideration. It may seem like a daunting task, but by following a few simple tips, youll be able to successfully complete your wedding seating chart with a minimal amount of stress.

 Who Sits With Whom?

You will first want to think about how to seat your families. Most brides and grooms prefer to keep families together; this is the traditional way to arrange your seating. You can put all of the brides family in tables on one side and all of the grooms family in tables on the other, but this can feel like theres an invisible line down the middle of the room. Many couples choose to intersperse family tables to avoid the harsh division and also to encourage interaction between the brides side and the grooms side.

Of course, there are some guests who should not be seated together. If the parents of the bride or groom are divorced, they should be at separate tables, as should any guests whose ex will also be in attendance. If you have friends or family members who dont get along, they too should be physically separated in your seating chart, just to avoid any unnecessary drama on your special day.

As for who sits with whom, its a thoughtful and respectful gesture to ask parents whom theyd like to sit with. Some may want to be with family members, while others will prefer to host a table of their dearest friends. When seating your friends, do try to make sure everyone knows at least one other person at his or her table. If you have lots of guests who are single, you can opt to seat them together the love in the air at weddings has certainly inspired more than one coincidental romance but dont try too hard to play matchmaker.

if you will have children in attendance at your wedding, you may want to consider a separate kids table. Teens and tween guests may appreciate the all-grown-up feeling that comes with being seated away from their parents. However, younger children who may still need help feeding themselves or who may feel anxious without a parent nearby are usually better off seated near mom or dad.

 

 Consider the Layout

If its possible, do a careful walk-through of the reception venue just before you create your seating chart. This will help you visualize who and what will be where. Many venues have maps of the space, often with table placements, that they will give you before you figure out who will sit where. If your venue does not have this, draw the layout yourself as accurately as you can, being sure to mark where the band or DJ will be set up.

You will definitely want to find out the venues table sizes and capacities so you dont accidentally seat ten guests at tables meant for only eight. You will also want to decide on a head table arrangement. Many couples opt for a dais-style head table, where the bride and groom sit in a long row with their wedding party. Others dont like the feeling of eating on a stage and choose a round table like those at which their guests are seated. And some couples prefer to sit by themselves at a sweetheart table so that they can enjoy their first meal as husband and wife together.

 Placement and Numbers

Once you have an idea of what things will look like and approximately where and with whom your guests will sit, its time to actually make your seating plan. First, put the names of each guest (or each couple) on a small piece of paper. Post-in notes work great for this. Then, put each name at a table, moving them around until the puzzle comes together. This will likely take a while as you reconcile groups that are both bigger and smaller than your set table size, but it will come together in the end. Its important to remember that while you want everything to be perfect and all your guests to be happy, most of your friends and family will be understanding if they dont get to sit with everyone they wanted to sit with. As long as everyone is comfortable with at least one or two other people at their table, your seating chart will work.

Seat families closer to the front of the room, leaving tables near the back for friends. The one exception to this is the area around the band or DJ; your very young guests and your elderly guests will appreciate being a bit farther away from the rooms loud spots.

Once youve got all of your guests assigned to a seat, its time to number the tables. While this seems like a minor detail, youll want to take care to ensure that family tables are lower numbers. It may seem silly, but grandma may take offense at being seated at Table 15; she should be at 2 or 3. Friends can go at higher numbered tables, as they probably wont care. Finally, create place cards holders or tent cards with names and table numbers on them that your guests can grab on their way in.

  

While creating a seating chart may be one of the more stressful things to do when planning your wedding, its not one that you should take lightly. Great wedding receptions dont happen by accident they are a result of careful planning, down to the last detail. By taking time before your big day to plan the particulars, youre much more likely to have a fun, relaxing, and smooth wedding reception that youll remember for the rest of your lives.