Wedding Seating Charts (Without the Headache!)

As the big day approaches, you’re prepared. You’re organized. You’ve got everything under control… except that awful seating chart! No matter how much you plan in advance, the guest tables tend to shuffle and reshuffle themselves until the very day you say “I do”.  Here are some tips to make seating your wedding guests as easy and stress-free as possible.

photo: Martha Stewart Wedding

  • Familiarize yourself with the layout of the venue so that you know how the tables will be arranged. Be sure you know how many people each table seats.
  • Use a poster or large piece of paper to sketch out each table, taking into account its size and how many seats it can handle.
  • Assign each table a number or title. If you have a theme, have fun by naming your tables accordingly.
  • Create color-coded groups such as pink for the bride’s family, blue for the groom’s family, yellow for friends, and red for kids. Use thin adhesive strips or cut-up sticky notes to write each person’s name on, which enables you to arrange and re-arrange easily.
  • Or, shop around for one of the many seating plan programs available on the internet. They are relatively inexpensive and will allow you to easily update your seating plan as guests RSVP.
  • Seat family closer to the head table. Then seat friends and coworkers.
  • Seat children and elderly guests as far from the DJ or band as possible. If you can, seat them close to exits and bathrooms, too!
  • Older children and teenagers may prefer to sit with other kids their age. However, young children should be seated with their parents.
  • Be tactful. Don’t seat people at the same table as those they don’t get along with, or my be offended by. Try to create tables with like-minded people who will enjoy each other’s company and conversation.
  • Consider having one or two empty tables. Some like to set a table for hired hands (band, photographers, etc) to eat during their break. You may also want an extra table for unexpected guests!
  • Create table numbers (or signs with table names) and seating cards, which will be arranged alphabetically, so that your guests will know which table to sit at.
  • Take a copy of your seating plan with you on your wedding day, to help sort out seating mix-ups.

We hope these tips will help ease your wedding planning and enable you and your guests to enjoy the big day to the fullest!