12 Simple Steps to Create Your Wedding Seating Chart
If you need to create a seating chart for your wedding, don’t panic!
Before we dive deep into the process of actually making a wedding seating chart, let’s get some of the most common questions and concerns out of the way.
How do you seat guests at a wedding reception?
Every wedding is unique, so every aspect should be customized to the personalities of the couple.
Do the bride and groom’s parents sit together?
It depends! Do they get along? If they do then they’d probably love to share their happiness on your wedding day. If they don’t prefer to celebrate together, seat them with other close relatives at separate family tables.
Is assigned seating required at a wedding reception?
If there are over 75 guests or your reception features a plated dinner, a seating chart is a must. If your wedding is smaller, a seating chart makes everything feel more organized. This allows guests to relax and simply keep their focus on celebrating your love.
Which side of the room do each partner’s family sit?
If the wedding features a religious ceremony, the couple’s beliefs will determine which side of the family sits where as this varies from culture to culture. For example, Christian ceremonies often place the bride’s family on the left while Jewish ceremonies seat them on the right. More modern couples tend to intermingle everyone
Does the bride sit to the right of the groom?
Just like in the last question, the type of ceremony could decide which side the bride sits. Otherwise, it’s up to the couple!
Does the bridal party have to sit together?
Nope! If the bridal party is made up of friends from all different areas of the couple’s life, consider seating them among guests they’ll feel most comfortable with. But if they do know each other or get along well, they’ll probably enjoy the experience of sharing a table. Either way, focus on who they’ll most likely want to sit with and go from there.
Do you need place cards at a wedding?
If there is a large guest list, a seating chart helps to coordinate everyone, however, if your reception is on the smaller side, place cards are appropriate.
Now that you know the basics, let’s get started!
12 Simple Steps to Create Your Wedding Seating Chart
Just follow this process step by step for a painless seating chart experience.
We recommend printing it out as a check list!
1. Floor plan.
Contact your wedding planner to get the full layout with details like room dimensions.
2. DJ or Band, Catering, and other important party add-ons.
Be sure that your wedding planner or venue coordinator has detailed where the buffet tables, drink station, bar, DJ or band, photo booth, etc. will all be located.
3. Table shapes and sizes.
Realistically, you can comfortably seat 8 people at an 8' long rectangular table or farm table. If your tables are 6' long rectangles or shorter farm tables then you can comfortably accommodate 6 guests. If you opt for 60" rounds or 72" rounds, which are more commonly found at hotel ballrooms you can seat 8 or 10 guests respectfully.
4. Table numbers needed.
Once you have your confirmed guest list, your planner or venue coordinator should be able to easily determine the number of tables that can fit in the space, and the number of people that can safely be seated at each one.
5. Choose the wedding couple’s seat.
Couples should have first priority when it comes to seating. Some couples opt for a sweetheart table to avoid any awkward drama, however, if they prefer, they can also sit with the bridal party, close friends or family while they eat. No matter who the couple sits with, they should be near the center of the room so no one has to struggle to spot them.
6. Give VIPs special treatment.
Does the bridal party have a sweet tooth? Close proximity to the dessert table might be in order. Give the second-best seats in the house to the parents. The wedding is a special day in their lives, too, so their seats should make them feel like they’re part of the action.
7. Arrange guests into groups.
It's always best to seat the remaining guests in groups based on how they know the happy couple. Do they know you from school? Work? Church? Seating people with similar interests will give them something to talk about. That being said, please resist the temptation to play matchmaker it never works out well in the end if you force it. If there is a connection, we promise it will occur naturally.
8. Younger guests to the dance floor.
Always seat your younger guests near the DJ or right along the dance floor. They’ll enjoy the loud music and the opportunity to bust a move. This allows for ample opportunity to seat your older guests farther away from the music, they can still feel close enough to enjoy the fun, but also carry on a conversation as well.
9. The kid’s table.
If you have more than 10 children in attendance set up a kids table. Just be sure to situate it in close proximity to all their parents so they can keep an eye on everything. Provide those kiddo with some fun things to play with like bubbles or coloring books and they will have a blast! Just avoid putting them by the bar area … for obvious reasons.
10. Seating their parents friends and extended family.
Always ask your parents how they prefer to have their extended family and friend seated. Odds are they’re up-to-date on all the family gossip, so at the very least, they’ll know best as to who should be seated near whom.
11. Try to make people happy.
Let’s be honest: wedding seating charts won’t please everyone. But as long as people’s feelings are considered, they’ll know you put effort into the decision and appreciate it.
12. Decorative seating guides.
The seating chart is an extension of the wedding personality and part of the decor, so get creative! If you are assigning tables, use a chart. If assigning seats, use place cards. Just be sure to ALWAYS ALWAY ALWAYS list everyone's name alphabetically by last name. DO NOT list them by table number. You may know which table they are seated at, but when they go looking for their name or escort card, they do not know their table number and this creates a chaotic, disorganized feel on the big day often resulting in a frustrating bottleneck around the escort card table or seating chart.
Planning a wedding can be stressful, but making a seating chart doesn’t have to be. Just keep these simple steps in mind and you'll be good to go!