Your wedding invitations have been sent, the RSVPs are starting to roll in and you just can’t wait for your big day to arrive. You might be eager to start organizing the layout for your reception, but if you feel overwhelmed by the daunting task, you are not alone. Making a wedding seating chart can be quite stressful. Follow Pearl Invitations’ tips that will take the worry out of making your wedding seating chart.
When Should You Start Your Wedding Seating Chart?
The general rule is to start your wedding seating chart once you have all your RSVPs, which is typically a few weeks before the wedding day. If you are working with a calligrapher or stationery business for your place cards, escort cards, and seating chart, we recommend getting your layout to them at least one week before the wedding. Worried you will need to make changes? Consider using an envelope system. Have a small envelope with each guests’ name and place the table number inside the envelope. This gives you the flexibility to make last-minute adjustments.
Sorting Out the Logistics
Before you jump right in and start placing guests at tables, you should reach out to your wedding venue to get the dimensions of the space and confirm layout options. They may have templates that will give you a starting point. Then you’ll need this information:
How many guests are coming?
What type of tables do you want (rectangle, round, sweetheart, a combination)?
How many guests will sit at each table?
Will you have a head table?
Where will you place the DJ, cake table, etc.?
When the RSVPs start arriving, use a spreadsheet to enter your guests’ information. Colour-code each guest in a category (e.g., your family, your work friends, your partner’s family, your partner’s university friends, etc.).
Preparing Your Wedding Seating Chart
How you build out your wedding seating chart is definitely a matter of preference. Either way, you will want to start with organizing the layout of the room with the dimensions, tables, and number of guests before you start placing anyone. If you struggle to envision the space, ask for help! Involve a family member, friend, or wedding party member who has visual problem-solving skills.
Some couples absolutely love digital options such as AllSeated or Wedding Wire.These solutions allow you to input accurate room dimensions and tables. Then, upload your guest spreadsheet, and you can drag and drop their names and move them around as needed. If you’re a more tactile person, a poster board with coloured sticky notes, or a white board with coloured markers might be just what you need.
Start with the Wedding Couple’s Spot
Hopefully this task is an easier one. First, decide where in the room you and your partner want to sit. Is it at a sweetheart table? At a rectangle table with family? At a head table with your wedding party?
Where to Seat the Wedding Party
Next, where do you want your wedding party to sit? Are they at the head table with you and your spouse? Together at a separate table? Or seated with their family or friends? Whatever you decide, just keep in mind that you’ll want the most important people to be closest to you as you celebrate your wedding.
Important People: Seat Them Close to You
There may be other important people in your life that you will want closeby such as a long-distance best friend who flew in from overseas, an influential mentor, or a favourite aunt or uncle. Usually parents are among the ‘VIPs’ of the day since it’s a significant and joyous occasion for them, too. You might want to seat both sets of parents together if they get along great.
Seating parents can also become complicated if there has been divorce/remarriage. In this case, consider the nature of their relationship. If they are on speaking terms, they might be willing to sit together to celebrate the joy of your wedding. If not, it might be best to seat them separately (or put them at far ends of a rectangular table). Do your best to be sensitive to known situations and accommodate where possible. Ultimately, try not to stress about it too much; everyone will be on the dance floor in no time.
Placing Everyone Else In Your Wedding Seating Chart
When you start to fill out the rest of the tables in your wedding seating chart, try to group people based on common experiences or interests. Your parents could have helpful insight for their friend groups. This is where that colour-coded spreadsheet with those categories can come in handy. Seat extended family in close proximity to each other, and put friend circles or work colleagues at the same table. Just remember that it will all work out. Besides, people are coming to celebrate your love and just have a good time.
Don’t Forget the Kids
If you have eight or more kids or teens coming to the wedding, they might enjoy having a table to themselves in your wedding seating chart. Just ensure there’s a bit of adult supervision nearby to keep them out of mischief.
Make Your Wedding Seating Chart Accessible
Once you have everyone organized in their place, our final advice is to make your wedding seating chart easily accessible to your guests. Put it near the entrance of the reception and make sure it’s legible. You can add a beautiful touch by including escort cards and place cards that match your wedding invitations and stationery.
There are plenty of creative ideas you can find for making your wedding seating chart. At Pearl Invitations, we love bringing your vision to life and tying all of the different elements of your today together through our elegant and unique stationery designs. Book a consultation and let’s talk about how we can design and print stunning stationery for your big day.