Some couples may want assigned seating and some couples won’t. From my experience, it is always good to have some sort of assigned seating for your guests. Your guests want direction. If you do not have some sort of direction for where your guests are sitting, you will have some of them scrambling to find a seat as you are making your grand entrance…nobody wants that! So in order to avoid this situation, here are some Tips and Tricks for creating your Seating Chart!
Prior to deciding on who goes where, you need to decide on your table shape and size. The shape and size will determine how many guests will fit around the table. There are a variety of tables and shapes to choose from for your reception, typically your options are round, oval, rectangular and square tables. Depending on your venue, one table may work better than another. For example, round tables will allow for more leg room but they tend to take up more space. While a rectangular table will allow for guests to be able to easily talk to one another across the table and have a greater seated capacity.
Keep Your Wedding Party Close
Depending on the size of your wedding party, you can plan to either have a Head table or have a sweetheart table and have the wedding party along with their partners and mutual friends on one table. This is a lovely way to acknowledge their special role and have them close by!
Seating The Parents
Family dynamics are different for everyone, so options for where to seat your parents will vary. Whether you are planning on having all the parents at the same table, keeping them separate or having different tables for divorcees, make sure that the tables are at a similar distance to you both, so no parent feels left out.
Ask For Your Parents’ Advice
Parent’s love when you ask them for advice! When it comes to extended family and their close friends, ask for their advice and opinion. You will have all those tables figured out in no time!
Organizing your guests in groups will make seating them so much easier. You may have already made groups, such as highschool friends , college friends, work friends etc. to help determine who you wanted to invite. You should use those same groups to determine where they sit! If you do not happen to have clear groups, form them! Make sure you have some familiar faces and some new ones. Group guests in a way that you feel will make them feel the most comfortable.
A Kids Table
If you have a group of children attending your wedding, you may want to consider a kids table! You can make it fun by including different activities, such as crafts, that will keep them entertained. If the kids are very young, you may want to keep them not too far away from their parents as they can get anxious. If you only have a ring bearer and a flower girl attending, then they should be seated with their parents.
Singles Table...Maybe Not
While it may sound like an excellent idea to seat all your single guests together it can make them feel a little uncomfortable and even a little embarrassed… let them do the work 😉 Another tip, try not to seat your unmarried guest with a table of all married couples!
Think About The Venue
Keeping the Venue in mind is very important when thinking about where to seat your guests. For example, make sure that if you have any guest using a wheelchair, that they are seated in an area where they can easily access their seat and have plenty of space. Maybe seat grandma away from the blasting speaker and keep your family and friends who LOVE to dance close to the dance floor!
Creating A Seating Chart
If you are like me and need to visualize everything - then creating a seating chart, either physically or digitally will be extremely beneficial! There are many programs that you can use to help create your seating chart such as, Wedding Mapper, AllSeated and WeddingWire. If you hire me as your Full Planning planner, you will have access to your own planning platform, where we will work on this together!
Table Assignments Only
“You mean, I have to assign each guest to each individual seat at their individual table?” If this is you, then opt for a more straightforward option - assign your guests to a table and let them pick their seat! This way you have your guests organized and they have a clear direction of where they need to go, but they are able to seat themselves wherever they please at their table. (Fun Fact: This is what I am doing for my wedding!)
KISS 😘 - Keep It Simple, Silly!
The biggest take away from this should be to make sure your seat assignments are giving your guests clear direction on where they are sitting! You can get as creative as you want with it, but make sure it is easy to use! If you are thinking of doing a Table Assignment sign or chart, a tip is to organize the guests by alphabetical order, this way, your guests can easily spot their name rather than checking each table grouping.