Tips On Arranging Your Seating Chart
Seating charts can be one of the most tedious parts of planning any event. While seating charts at weddings and other events are not mandatory, it’s common for most brides to arrange a seating chart for their special day. Additionally many venues typically require assigned seating. When starting on your seating arrangement, don’t stress! Once you read our tips below you’ll get it down in no time.
Check out our rule of thumb tips below:
1. Consider Table Shape
Before you do any seating arrangement, consider what table shape(s) your venue is offering. The size and shape will dictate how many guests can be seated at each. When it comes to wedding table shapes you typically see four basic options, round, rectangle, oval and square. Rectangular tables usually seat more guests, round tables are considered more traditional and provide the most leg room. Once you decide what tables you prefer, you can start adding guests to them.
2. Keeping Loved Ones Close
It’s your wedding day! Keeping your loved ones close to you at your reception is a great way to acknowledge their special roles in your lives. If you’re opting for a sweat heart table, have your wedding party have their own host table. Seat them with their dates and mutual friends. This table should be the “third” best in the room, as the second is typically saved for your parents.
3. Figure Out Where Your Putting Parents
Traditionally, both the bride and groom’s parents will share a table at the reception, along with grandparents and siblings that aren’t in the wedding party. It gives the parents another chance to get to know each other and bask in the glow of their children’s brand new union. All the guests are happy, but no one will likely be as overjoyed as your parents, and they can share in that together.
This, of course, can get tricky when you’re dealing with divorced parents. If things are tense between them, be sensitive. Consider having two tables that are equally close to you, and then put one parent at each. That way, no one feels uncomfortable or left out. You can also try seating them at the same rectangular table, but at opposite ends (and try to make the table long).
4. Ask Your Parents’ for Help with Seating Their Friends
If you have no idea where to seat your parents’ friends, let your mother and mother-in-law arrange those tables, they’ll be happy to be involved. You should also include your parents in the seating assignments. If there’s room at the family table(s), they’re sure to have an opinion on what close friends they might like to have seated at their table. If there will be another family or friends table nearby, they may want to help choose those guests, too.
5. Categorize Guests by Groups
Now that you have a full final list of who’s RSVP’d yes, you can start putting people into groups. Start by grouping guests according to how you know them, such as: family members, childhood/high school friends, college friends, work friends, etc. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sit them according to group, but a picture will start to form of who already knows each other, and who already gets along. Remember, you want your guests to feel comfortable, offer a mix of familiar and new faces at each table (cancel out that singles table!). And, of course, be tactful: avoid seating people together who have a history they wish they could forget.
6. Creative Kids Table
If you’ve got some munchkins attending your reception, let them eat cake! Consider seating the kid’s together at their own table. Give them activities and/or crafts to keep them occupied such as: coloring books, puzzles, play-dough. If you want to see them on the dance floor, consider having hula hoops and other dance party related items! Remember not to seat the kid’s too far from their parents, and of course if your flower girl and ring bearer are the only children present, seat them with their parents.
12. Make Finding Table Cards Easy
When it comes to actually telling your guests where to sit, remember to make the table cards easy to find! Tented envelope cards are usually the most traditional, and can be arranged in a variety of ways. A new trend we often see is having a table assignment sign. If you’re opting for one or two long tables for everyone, a diagram with numbered seats accompanied by an alphabetical list of guests’ names will get them in place with ease. Remember, a font that is easy to read is always appreciated!