How to Organize your Wedding Guest Seating Arrangements
Creating a wedding seating chart causes many couples a great deal of wedding stress. You’ll want your guests to have a great time at their tables and enjoy the company of the people they’re sitting with, you’ll Want your guests to be comfortable and have easy access to the buffet, bar, and dance floor, and – this is where wedding stress often arises – you may have to tackle some tricky family dynamics such as seating divorced parents and keeping feuding relatives apart.
So to help you create your wedding seating chart with a minimum of stress and anxiety, here are some top tips:
- Don’t start working on your wedding seating chart too early. Wait for all of your response cards to come in so that you can tackle the job without having to make switches down the road.
- Use the seating chart organizing system that works for you. You’ll find free wedding tools online that let you easily move guests from table to table, and these online seating charts do you the favor of showing ‘unseated guests’ in a column, so that you don’t forget anyone. That can happen when you have a large guest list. Or, you might be more comfortable with a classic system like printing guests’ names on strips of paper and pinning them into a corkboard arranged to show table seating spaces. Don’tuse a chalkboard or whiteboard, since it’s too easy to experience a wedding disaster if your chart gets accidentally ‘wiped.’
- Talk to your wedding venue manager about the different sizes of tables you may be able to arrange in your wedding ballroom or in your garden wedding space. It’s perfectly acceptable to have some larger tables, some round tables, some rectangular tables, and so on. You may find that a table seating 20 creates the perfect space for one circle of friends, while a table for 8 seats a family. You’ll work with your wedding venue manager to arrange a custom table layout perfect for your guest list.
- Once you get table size and layout information from your wedding venue manager, share this information with your groom’s side of the family IF you’ll have them create seating arrangements for their side of the family and their friends.
- Don’t be ruled by the idea of having His side and Her side for guest tables. Today’s wedding trend combines both sides throughout the room.
- Keep guest accessibility in mind, such as placing older guests closer to the dance floor or buffet, for their ease and enjoyment.
- Seat children with their parents, who can look after them and help with their meals.
- Seat bridal party members with their dates and friends or family, as a top trend in wedding seating.
- If you have divorced or separated parents who prefer not to sit together, plan for 3 or 4 parents’ tables up front near your sweetheart table.
- Don’t try to force singles to sit together. A ‘singles table’ can be a nightmare for singles, even if you have good intentions of coupling your friends up.
- Seat guests with similar celebration styles. Couples who like to drink and perhaps do group toasts can be seated together, while your more subdued guests can be seated together.
- Don’t worry about guests who take offense at being placed at Table 12 while others are placed at Table 9. Their sensitivities are not your problem.
- Password-protect your online seating chart, if possible, to keep your arrangements safe.
- If you have an online wedding seating chart plan, always print out a hard copy after each revision in case you have an unforeseen computer issue. It will still be accessible and safe this way.
- Triple-check to be sure every one of your wedding guests is assigned to a table. Oversights are terrible wedding etiquette, and you don’t want guests talking about that for years, instead of talking about your beautiful wedding ballroom, your amazing wedding menu, and how beautiful you looked on your big day.