While having a seating chart at a wedding is traditional, it isn’t mandatory. A lot of couples opt to have a seating chart to make things simpler. If you are having a plated dinner it can get extremely confusing for the catering company to try to figure out who is who and where to find them without a seating chart. It can be a daunting task, but we compiled our best tips to help you create your seating chart with ease.
You will want to do this even as you make your guest list. It doesn’t have to be permanent, but just so you know generally how many “work friends” you have vs. how many people on the groom’s side of the family, and so on. Group guests together that know each other.
Before you can even start placing guests on an imaginary seating chart, you need to know what size your tables are. How many people do they hold? Are they round or rectangular? This actually does matter, because if you are having long rectangular tables, guests wont be interacting as much with the whole table compared to it were a circular table and they could see/hear everyone. Figure that out and how many people can fit at each table.
If you want to have a head table, it is always good to include your bridal party (and dates if they will fit!) at the head table. It will help acknowledge their special role! Couples also do a sweetheart table. If you are doing this, make sure to put your bridal party + dates together close to you and close to the dance floor if you can accommodate both!
Traditionally, the both sets of parents will sit together and include and direct grandparents. You can, of course, split up the families to ensure that grandparents and aunts/uncles are taken care of the way you deem fit. Just make sure these tables are the closest to where the newly wedded couple is sitting. You should also ask for their help on seating their friends, or family members you aren’t entirely sure where to place. A lot of parents will invite their family friends, and your parents will know where they will fit best.
As long as you know the size of each table, you can categorize your guests into groups and just assign them to a table instead of a specific seat. If you don’t mind who sits where within the table, this is an easier option.
Place cards are cards that sit at the table. Escort cards are the cards guests find with everyone else’s escort card that direct them to the right table. Make sure you lay the escort cards out by last name. Do NOT organize them by table – guests will get a headache just trying to find theirs.
Alphabetical order. Period. Doing it by tables works too, but it will take guests longer to find their name. This will cause a crowd around your seating chart, which is not the goal. You want to make it as straight forward as possible, so guests can look for their last name, find their table and head to that direction when it’s time.