Seating charts add a touch of elegance and a sense of order to your wedding reception. Figuring out how to create a wedding reception seating chart that works may seem like a daunting task. With a little organization and the following tips from WhereBridesGo.com, it won't seem so difficult.
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.
Categorize the Guests
It can be very helpful to categorize guests in some way, such as work colleagues, school friends, etc... and keep people together that you know will enjoy each other's company. If you'd like different sets of friends to get to know each other better, try to 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 sitting 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 it's the latter, 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 the dates' seats near the head table.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wedding seating arrangements are not absolutely necessary if it adds too much additional stress to your wedding planning. If you do choose to implement one, it can be a wonderful way to help guests easily find a place to sit near people whose company they will enjoy. This is especially true if you are hosting a large wedding.
Don't overthink it. Guests can always trade seats later if necessary. By then you'll be too busy enjoying your special day to worry about it!
Our online wedding store offers lots of additional inspiration to help with the planning process. You'll also find many beautiful wedding favors that can double as escort cards or place cards. Take a look around WhereBridesGo.com & get inspired!
~The WhereBridesGo.com Team
Post by Deanna Powell, Certified Bridal Consultant