I always advise wise wedding couples and families to break out a great bottle of wine before tackling one of the more difficult parts of planning your wedding… the seating chart.
Here’s the thing, it’s going to be difficult. And it’s likely a difficult thing you have to do when you already have a lot of crazy things going on in the wedding planning process. So we won’t lie to you.
But there are a few ways to make working with your seating chart a little easier.
Here’s what you need:
Post It Notes
By now, you’ve likely received a layout from your venue. Use that to determine about how many tables you’ll have, then number your paper plates with the assumed table number.
Lay the paper plates out on the floor as the layout suggests. This will give you an idea of where the tables are in correlation with the head table, doors, etc.
Now, begin with the head table, parent’s tables, and any other special tables. These are likely right near the center of the room and you already know the people you want to be there!
Use the post-it notes to write the guests names and stick them to the outer edge of the paper plate. You’ll want to place between 8-10 guests at each table, but check with your planner or venue to be sure you know how many people may sit at each table.
Once you’ve placed your closest family and wedding party tables, start moving out. Write each guest’s name on a post-it note and begin grouping them by relation. Work, Church, College, Extended Family Groom, etc. Putting groups of people together who already have a similar connection is a great way to make the evening more enjoyable for your guests and easier for you.
Now, what happens when you realize that Mike and Kayla who were college besties are now broken up and oops… you had them at the same table. Easy! Just pull off that sticky note and affix it to a different table. This makes it so easy to move people around until you get just the right fit of personalities!
You’ve got it now - and you should be ready to move those guests onto place cards.
Here’s how you do that!
Create a document that lists guest by their table number. It might look like this.
This is the guest list (with full names) and table numbers you’ll need to send off to your calligrapher or stationer.
PRO TIP: Always get a few blank cards to keep in your wedding day emergency stash.
Having a few extra place cards allows for Aunt Mildred who forgot to send her RSVP and calls the week of the wedding telling you how excited she is to see you!
It’s ok to add people at the last minute. Plug Aunt Mildred into the best fitting table and update your seating document.
Now that you have the amazing seating document you created and all of your guests are plugged into their perfect seat, sit back and feel awesome about what you’ve accomplished.
Then use this document for passing along your guest count and meal selections to your caterer and venue. It might change a bit and look something like this.
Table 1 (Seats 8)
1 chicken, 1 kid, 2 veg, 3 beef
Not only will they love you for being so organized but this will help them to set your reception space more efficiently and serve your guests more quickly! And it keeps you sane in the meantime!
Is your seating chart taking you more than one bottle of wine? Reach out to us! We’re here to help!