Ah the seating chart — one of the least fun parts of wedding planning, especially if you’re having a big wedding. While it seems like an easy task, it’s not rare for couples to get pretty frustrated with this as they get closer and closer to their big days. That’s why I’ve decided to share some of my personal tips and advice to creating the perfect seating chart, without going crazy in the process.
Why Do I Need a Seating Chart?
If you’re hitting this stage of planning, you might be asking yourself, “Why do we need a seating chart anyway? Can’t guests just find a seat themselves?” In my opinion, a seating chart is a must, unless you’re not doing a meal or your wedding is a very small family and friends gathering where almost everyone knows each other. I’ve been to many weddings where it was a struggle to find a seat, let alone a seat next to people I actually knew and liked. Don’t create extra anxiety for your guests; thoughtfully create a seating chart that reserves a place specially for each guest.
Who Sits at the Head Table?
When it comes to the head table, you have a couple options — a large table or the entire bridal party or a sweetheart table for you and your new hubby alone. I’ve also seen the significant others of the bridal party seated at the head table. Really, this is dependent on your preference and how much space you have.
Where Does Everyone Else Go?
This, my friends, is where many people find trouble when it comes to seating arrangements. What worked really well for Michael and I was to use post-it notes as people and paper plates as tables when we were arranging everyone. That way, you can easily move people around as you fill in tables and try to ensure everyone has a seat they’ll be happy with. This photo (found on Something Turquoise), uses a very similar approach:
A few things to keep in mind:
- Parents, grandparents and other close family members should be as close to the head table as possible.
- Avoid the urge to create a singles table; this might embarrass some of your single friends. Instead, mix singles and couples together.
- Sit friends and acquaintances together wherever possible.
- If you have a large group of friends that can’t fit at one table, split the group down the middle and fill in the rest of each table with other people who may not be a part of such a large group.
- Be cognizant of who works well together.
So…are you ready to tackle your seating chart now?
About Nicole Denton
With a love of planning just about anything — from her own wedding, to bridal and baby showers, to dinner parties, and more – Nicole is the Plunge Project’s founder and editor-in-chief. A New Jersey native, Nicole has called Chandler, Arizona home since 2013, where she currently lives with her husband Michael; two pit bulls, Shelby and Link; and cat, Kity Perry. A University of Tennessee graduate, Nicole has a bachelors in communications and a career at a rapidly-growing digital marketing firm.