The Easiest Way to Create Your Wedding Day Seating Chart!
While guests try to sit wherever, it is overall helpful and thoughtful to assign them a seat. Many guests will find it exciting to see whom you have paired them with and where in the room they are positioned. Here are our tips on how to create the ultimate perfect seating chart! Whether you are using a large sign to be displayed during cocktail hour or individual escort cards, this is your guide to help you fight the battle of the seating chart!
As I tell all my brides, it is never too early to prep for the next step in the wedding plans. Once you create your guest list, begin arranging the guests by family members and friends. Create a spreadsheet with all of the invited guests and add a column and “label” your family and friends. Separating these guests by bride’s family, groom’s family, bride’s friends, groom’s friends, and bridal party will allow you to know if you will need to mix up some of the guests. If you know your extended family isn’t going to like sitting with your new family, then make sure they have a table with only people they know.
The Bridal Party
Next determine your table. There is the traditional head table arrangement. This will eliminate your bridal party from being a part of the overall seating arrangement. The traditional way for a head table is the groom on the bride’s right in the center with your maid of honor to the right of the groom and your best man on your left. The remainder of the wedding party is seated every other boy/girl. The traditional way is beginning to fade with your bestie to your left and bridesmaids beside her and the groom’s side reflecting the brides. However many couples are wanting their attendees to sit with their significant other, so they will choose a sweetheart table with the bridal party sitting with their sweetie at the tables closest to it. Not only does this allow your bridal party to be with their date, but also it will allow you and your new hubby to have some intimacy at your individual table.
Your Parents Need a Seat Too
While the invitations are in the mail, you have determined the seats for you and your bridal party; however, don’t forget your parents. Although this is your wedding day, your parents are very important in this event as well. Think about whom you are closest to. At this table, place family members such as your parents, stepparents, grandparents, and siblings. If you don’t have a large mediate family, have your fiancés family sit with them as well. And if you have parents that have been divorced that aren’t the most civil of people, break these tables up into two or even four tables.
The RSVP’s are rolling in, now it is time to get that spreadsheet back out. Without placing numbers on the tables, begin by choosing which guests should sit together. As you get the “no’s” eliminate them from your chart, so you have a total headcount. If you allowed plus one’s; don’t forget to count them with the noted guest as well.
The Final Countdown
Take a moment and look over all attendees. You have narrowed down all your guests and have a final number. With not much rearranging, you were able to conquer the hard part. Now, take your table layout and begin placing the sets of guests at tables.
Being a planner, I am very visual and hands-on. To avoid erasing multiple times, take a sticky note and nickname each table (I typically use the main last name at the table). Write the name on each sticky note and begin moving the groups around. I always begin with the bridal party.
If you have a head table, then move to the family. Remember, those that share the tightest bond with you, should be the ones that sit the closest to you and your groom.
If you have a calligrapher creating the chart or escort cards, be sure to give a final draft to them with plenty of time for them to work on it. While you should always check with their schedule, a week or two in advance should be sufficient.
Find Your Seat and Bon Appétit!
Seating charts and escort cards allow your guests to see your appreciation of their attendance. It makes for great conversation amongst one another and provides an extra memento for them to take away as well. Need some inspiration for your seating chart? Check out our Pinterest page for unique ways to use at your wedding!