Is your wedding just around the corner?
Between choosing a venue to picking out flower arrangements to planning your bachelor/bachelorette parties, there’s something you need to keep in mind: the wedding seating chart.
A lot of couples underestimate how hard it is to put a seating chart together. You want people to sit next to who they’re closest to, but this can get difficult to arrange depending on table size and who everyone knows. Luckily, with the right know-how, you can put together the perfect wedding seating chart.
Check out this guide to learn how to put a seating chart together for your wedding!
- Speak to Your Vendors
Before you go crazy playing Tetris with the wedding tables, you need to speak to your vendors. Each wedding venue has a unique floor plan that will influence how you arrange your guests.
Speak to your vendor to get a copy of the floor plan, and ask them where they normally place the DJ/band, bar area, wedding photographer, dessert table, and dance floor. Typically, the venue can supply you with a list of ideas on how to arrange your tables.
Speaking of tables, you’ll also want to figure out the types of tables you’re working with. While some venues allow you to choose between rectangular, oval, and circle tables of varying sizes, other venues have limited options. You’ll also want to look at the style of chairs you’re working with, as the style can influence how many chairs you can fit around a table.
Luckily, most chairs are about the same size, whether you decided to go with a wood chair or a ghost chair style.
Knowing how many people you can fit at each table and the shape of the tables is vital, so make sure to get this information from your vendor.
- Seat Yourselves and the Wedding Party
It’s usually easy to figure out seating for yourself and your wedding party, so this is a good place to start.
Your head table will consist of you and your fiance, your wedding party, and if space allows, their plus-ones. There are a few main ways couples arrange their head table.
One of the most popular options is to have everyone sitting in a long row with everyone on one side facing the wedding guests. The benefit of this arrangement is that it makes it easy for the rest of your guests to view the wedding table during speech time.
It also makes it easier for the photographer to capture pictures of the entire wedding party at once. However, if you have a large bridal party, this means you likely won’t get much of a chance to speak to those sitting at the end of the table. And, depending on the size of the venue, you may not have the space to create one long table.
Another option is to create a king’s table, in which the wedding party sits in one, long rectangular table, usually placed in the center of the room. This allows for a bit more socializing at the table, as people can speak to those in front of them in addition to those seated directly next to them.
You can also make a sweetheart table, in which you and your fiance sit together and the rest of the wedding party sit at their own table.
- Figure Out the Family
Once you’ve decided how to seat your wedding party, it’s time to figure out what you’re going to do with your family.
If everyone’s parents get along, then you may want to seat immediate family members at the same table. Then, you can reserve several surrounding tables for aunts, uncles, cousins, and other extended family members.
However, if both of you have large immediate families or you feel like your families will want to sit with their own relatives, then you may want to create a groom’s section and a bride’s section. You’ll want to place immediate family members in tables that are equally distanced from the main table so no one feels like you’re playing favorites.
And remember, it never hurts to ask your parents where they want to sit. They may request to sit next to lifelong friends instead of family members. Or, if your parents have friends that are attending the wedding who don’t really know any other guests, they may request to sit next to them.
If there are going to be kids at the wedding, we also suggest creating a separate kids’ table.
- Divide Your Wedding Guests Into Groups
Once you’ve figured out seating for the wedding party and your family, it’s time to decide what to do with the rest of your wedding guests. This is typically the hardest part and may require some shuffling around.
To make things easier, we suggest dividing your guests into groups. In other words, think about how people know each other. For example, if you have some high school friends coming, you can seat them at the same table. You may want to put family friends together, college friends together, and friends together who share social activities.
Also, don’t forget to take people’s personalities into account. If you have some friends who are really outgoing, you may want to seat them next to people who tend to be a bit shyer.
Also, resist the urge to create a separate singles table. Even if you have two friends whom you’re dying to set up, a separate singles table often just embarrasses the guests seated at them. Also, don’t seat a single friend at a table full of married couples.
Are You Ready to Create Your Wedding Seating Chart?
Now that you’ve read this guide, it’s time for you to put together your wedding seating chart. While seating arrangements can be stressful, don’t sweat it too much, as you’re probably going to spend most of the night boogying on the dance floor anyway!
Be sure to check back in with our blog for more wedding planning tips and tricks.