It seems that people are starting to steer away from formal seating charts at wedding receptions, but the truth is, sometimes they really are necessary in creating a fluid event. With our helpful tips, you’ll have your seating chart finalized in no time! Thanks to Keenan for all her research on this tricky subject.
1. Don’t Over Think It — At most weddings, guests will only be sitting for an hour (two, at the most). Unless your reception consists of a six-course meal, you don’t have to worry about guests spending all night in their assigned seats. There will be plenty of time for them to mingle… and dance!
2. Consider the Space — Take your time in arranging the tables in the room so that each one fits comfortably. Also keep in mind how many people will fit at each table… And don’t overstuff them.
3. Create a Master List – Create three columns: Last Name, First Name, and Table Number. At this point the table number will be blank but this is just to set you up and help you out in the future.
4. Sort Guests into Three Groups – Family, Friends, and Kids. After you have divided your guests into those groups, create sub-groups of 10 people (or however many you can comfortable fit at each table). Here are some qualifications you can use when creating subgroups…
- Family Sub-groups – Group each side of the family separately for this one, and then break it down by family unit (combining families when necessary).
- Friend Sub-groups – You can start by dividing this group by his friends and your friends. Then you can try sorting some by geography, some by interest, and some by how you know them.
- Kid Sub-groups – If you have enough kids of the same relative age, designate a kids table with appropriate activities to keep them entertained.
5. Assign Groups to Tables – Now that you’ve got multiple lists of 8 to 10 guests all grouped together, it’s time to assign them to a table. Try not to assign specific seats, so that your guests have the freedom to sit next to whoever they choose at their table. Here are some tips for assigning table numbers…
- Seat your wedding party closest to you, and let them sit next to their dates. If you have a head table, this will allow the entire party to sit together at the front of the room.
- Allow your older guests to sit far enough away from the DJ so they won’t be bothered. You want them to be able to converse easily with others.
- If you have a kids table put them in an area where they will get to have fun, without drawing too much attention away from the adult party going on. Make sure that they are still able to be seen and heard by others so that parents feel comfortable to allow them to sit there.
6. Order the Paper Products – After you have your master list complete with each table and its corresponding group of guests, send it off to your paper vendor to create table numbers and place cards. If you don’t want to deal with 100 separate cards, you could also have your paper vendor create a cute poster or sign with each person’s name listed under their assigned table.