Creating the perfect seating chart is almost as hard as choosing who to invite in the first place, or deciding who gets the role of Maid of Honor between multiple close friends and siblings. Never fear, there are tips and tricks to easily navigating all of those! (Pssst. Take a peek at our guest list manager tool and our touchy wedding situation tip for those other two!) Today, we are tackling creating the perfect seating chart, so you can mark off one more thing on your list and rest your worries of reception drama!
Ryan Ray Photography
Depending on your tastes and reception layout, your wedding party, plus their dates, usually sit at the head table with you. However, if you’re leaning towards a sweetheart table situation for you and your beau, there are a couple of options. You can either have a table just for the wedding party, scatter them throughout your closest tables with family (your BFF who is actually more like a sister would fit in perfectly here I’m sure), or disperse them throughout the reception tables acting as hosts for each. This last option is great if you have a lot of guests who don’t know each other very well!
Typically, the first few closest tables to the bride and groom are reserved for their immediate family, and usually are divided between the couple. For instance, if the bride is seated on the right side, her family’s tables will be those closest to her. In the occurrence of divorced parents, they may play host to their own individual tables with their family members and guests if needed.
Friends & Coworkers
Your friends and coworkers that aren’t members of your family or the wedding party usually fill in the tables farther out on the seating chart.
Pro tip: Sitting your family’s “head honchos” and bosses at good tables tends to pay off later on.
Lauren Scotti Photography
How to Display It
I strongly suggest having some type of escort card, place card, or large seating chart for your guests. Depending on your guest count and budget, each one has its strengths. For a smaller guest count, a seating chart can be sufficient on its own, but for a larger wedding of 100 guests or more, escort cards or place cards would be the route to go. Assigning tables only and leaving your guests to choose their individual seat can definitely be easier if there are no possibilities of drama or odd seating.
From top left clockwise: Raelyn Elizabeth, Andrew Jade Photography, Justin & Mary The Weddings, Laura Murray Photography.
Play up your theme!
This is a great chance for you to play up your theme! Romantic calligraphy, modern aesthetics, and matching decor is a great way to tie in your seating chart to the overall atmosphere of the day! However, try to make it easy to read as guests will be wanting to find their seats, quick, fast, and in a hurry! You don’t want Aunt June to accidentally take a seat with your hubby’s rowdy guy friends!
Blush Wedding Photography
Figuring out your table sizes and how many people can comfortably fit is a great place to start to get a general idea of the layout for your guests.
72” round table or 6’ rectangular table: 10-12 guests
60” round table or 5’ rectangular table: 8-10 guests
48” round table or 4’ rectangular table: 6-8 guests
Staging the Venue
This is a great way for you visual learners out there to start! Create a floor plan layout of your reception including the cake table, band, and DJ, so you can see what each table is next to. It’s probably not a great idea to place elderly relatives right next to the DJ’s speakers.
Don’t Try to Headstart the Process!
Wait until you start receiving those pesky RSVP’s before you really dive into the seating chart. This will save you the anticipated trouble in the off chance a large group can’t make the wedding, and you have to rework the entire chart.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
After dinner, most of your guests won’t know what table they were at to begin with. They will be more focused on the open bar and the dance floor, so try not to stress too much. That goes along with those last-minute changes as well! Nothing is set in stone, and that definitely includes your seating chart. Someone will either break-up with their longtime S.O. or ask to bring a date. Just remember, it’s no sweat in the long-term! Just slide them where available, even if it isn’t where you might originally have placed them.
How are you displaying your seating chart? Let us know in the comments below!