Photo by Tori Stanton Photography
By this point, you are so close to the finish line in your planning process. Creating a seating chart is one of the last things to check off of your To-Do List. This is why the creation of a seating chart is often a task that couples dread, as it does take a lot of maneuvering and there are some logistics to consider when creating one. After you've organized your guest list and have noted who has RSVP'd "yes", follow the steps below to create a more seamless experience:
Step 1: Look at your reception layout (which should've been created by your venue and/or your wedding planner) and note what kind and the size of tables you are planning on using. Rounds? Rectangular?
A 60-inch round fits 8 people comfortably, whereas a 72-inch round fits 10 people comfortably.
A 6-foot rectangle table fits six people (eight if you cap the ends), and an 8-foot rectangle table fits eight people (ten if you cap the ends). If you are using rectangle tables, consider not capping the ends if you have extensive décor planned for your reception tables, as that can fill up the space more and the guests capped at the ends may feel uncomfortable and squished.
Step 2: Looking at your reception layout, seat you & your partner first. Are you sitting at a Sweetheart Table, or a head table? A Sweetheart Table is just for you & your partner, usually overlooking your guests. Still overlooking your guests, a head table is a larger table, with you and your partner seated in the middle, and your bridal party (plus their dates) sitting on either side of you, filling up the rest of the table.
Step 3: Once you’ve determined where you & your partner are sitting, seat your VIP guests next. VIP guests include your bridal party, parents, grandparents, and other immediate family members. These people should be seated as close to you & your partner as they can get.
Step 4: From there, begin to play around with the remaining tables. A few things to note:
Try to group families, friend groups, or people that know each other together.
Couples and plus ones should always be sat together at the same table.
Avoid placing too many people that don’t know each other at one table.
Avoid a singles table.
Your grandmas, grandpas, and older guests will most likely want to be seated as far away from the DJ or band's speaker system as they can get.
If you’re stuck, consult your parents. They’ll have some input on where to seat other family members.
Play around with configurations digitally or on paper. If you're going the digital route, Wedding Wire and AllSeated are both great options!
Begin to play around with seating chart configurations around three to four weeks prior to your event. Try not to finalize your decisions until around a week prior to your event, as things can change. I recommend printing, or ordering, your seating chart cards as last minute as possible, as it's likely that a guest or two may drop out last minute.
Consider the two types of options for displaying your physical seating chart:
1: Organizing by table (I.e., table 1, table 2, table 3, etc.).
2. Organizing by first letter of guests' first or last name (I.e., A, B, C, etc.).