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Tips for Creating a Successful Wedding Reception Seating Chart

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Creating a wedding seating arrangement may seem like a daunting task, but with a little organization and a few tips from, it doesn't have to be that hard. Wedding seating charts add a touch of elegance and a sense of order to your reception.  

Getting Started

Get a good look at the space where your reception will be held. If possible, ask the venue to supply you with a diagram of the room to give you a better idea of what will go where. Place the essentials around the room first, like the head table, the DJ or band, food tables, etc... 

After that, decide whether you would like to assign guests simply by table, allowing them to choose their own chairs, or go all out and decide which person will sit in each seat. Next, it's time to decide exactly where each individual will go. 

Categorize the Guests

It will be helpful to categorize guests in some sort of way, such as work colleagues, school friends, etc... and keep people together that you know will enjoy each others company. If you'd like different sets of friends to get to know each other better, put them in groups where everyone has at least one other thing in common, besides knowing the two of you. 

The Head Table

Obviously, you and your new spouse will be at the head table. You need to decide if it will be a sweetheart table just for the two of you or if the wedding party will be sitting there also. If so, the next decision is whether there will be room for your wedding party's dates to join them at the head table. If not, try to keep their seats near the head table. 

Family First

A wedding joins two families together. Your parents and immediate family will want to have a good view of everything happening on this special day. Decide whether both sets of parents should be seated with their own immediate family or together so they can get to know each other better. Take care when seating divorced parents. The goal is for everyone to be comfortable and have a good time with no family drama, only joy.   

Keep Your Friends Close

Your closest friends will likely be in your wedding party meaning they are already seated either at the head table or close to it. Keep other friends you want to spend a lot of the evening with nearby as well. Consider activities too. For example, if you're all big dancers, friends' tables should have easy access to the dance floor. 

All the Rest

Unless you're hosting a small, intimate wedding there are likely to be guests that you aren't extremely close to, such as friends of your parents or distant relatives you don't see often. Enlist your parents' help for seating their friends and just like with your own friends, do your best to seat everyone near people they will have something in common with. 

Kids' Table

If you are inviting enough children to fill a table or two of their own and they are old enough to sit away from their parents, a kids' table can be a great idea. They get to have a good time with people their own age while their parents get some quality grown-up time. Place the kids' table where parents can keep an eye on it and group siblings together or kids of similar ages. 

Make the Chart Adjustable

Don't just put pen to paper and start writing down a seating chart that will undoubtedly change quite a few times before you are finished. Draw out the main floor plan with tables in place. Then you can use mini post-it notes with guests' names on them to place people in possible seats. These can easily be moved around as needed until you find the perfect arrangement.

This can also be done on a bulletin board with pinned names instead of sticky notes. If you're more of a digital person, there are apps and computer programs that allow you to do everything on an easily changed screen too.  

Make It Memorable 

Wedding escort cards and place cards are an excellent place to let wedding items do double-duty. Our online wedding store has lots of these to choose from that are also wedding guest favors that can be taken home as a keepsake to remember your special day. 

Wedding seating arrangements are not absolutely necessary if it adds too much stress to your wedding planning. They are a wonderful way to help guests easily find a good seat where they will be around others that will help them have a good time though. Especially if you are hosting a large wedding, a seating chart will help the entire event stay organized and run a little smoother. Don't overthink it. Guests can always trade seats later if necessary. By then you'll be too busy enjoying getting married to worry about it!  


~ The Team
Post by Deanna Powell, Certified Bridal Consultant

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