Hi friends! For most wedding receptions, having a seating chart is pretty standard. You’ve put so much time into planning the perfect event, why risk chaos with first-come-first-serve seating? But I’ll admit, devising the seating chart can be a bit time consuming and lot like working on a puzzle…and it’s the one task you usually can’t delegate to your wedding planner or a bridesmaid! So here are a few tips to hopefully help the process go a bit smoother.
- Set a goal and give yourself time. If you have a calligrapher doing your place cards, confirm when he or she will need the names. Otherwise, plan to have it all finalized five days before the wedding. But don’t procrastinate! Start working on the seating chart as soon as responses come in – which should be three or four weeks before the big day. Just know that there will always be last minute cancellations so be prepared to make adjustments.
- Finalize your “anchor tables.” Decide whether you and your new spouse will sit at a sweetheart table or whether you’ll have a more traditional head table with your parents and wedding party. If you decide on a sweetheart table, each set of parents and the wedding party gets their own table flanking yours.
- Create groups. You want your guests to have a good time and be comfortable so try to seat them with like-minded folks. Seat college buddies, work friends, relatives, neighbors and so forth with one another when possible. Feel free to mix it up if needed (especially if you know certain people will really hit it off). Just please don’t seat all the single girls together…they’ll feel like outcasts!
- Recruit help. While you can’t completely pawn off the task, you can certainly ask for help. For example, ask your parents and future in-laws to seat their own friends and relatives. They’ll have a better understanding of those dynamics, and it will certainly take a load off for you.
- Stay organized. Once it’s all said and done, you need a way to keep track of your seating chart. One of my favorite tools is AllSeated — it’s the perfect place to access floor plans, manage your guest list, create your seating chart and so much more! And it’s FREE. Be sure your wedding coordinator and/or wedding party have access to your seating plans on the day of so they can help with any last-minute adjustments.
With that taken care of, time to reward yourself with a glass of wine!
Header image by Simone Photography