A huge part of making sure your guests have the best experience possible is organizing the seating chart. Start making your chart as early as you can, once you have a solid number of RSVPs, and don’t be afraid to let your friends connect with new people. Before you begin, check out our professional wedding planning tips on how to manage the seating situation at your wedding!
1. Planning to sit with friends and family at a long feast table for your reception? This could be a great place to splurge on unique place cards. It’s likely that your friends and family will ask where they should be seated at the table, so planning it ahead of time and getting creative with place cards is a very thoughtful touch — Christiane Lehman of Truly You Events.
2. Seating can sometimes make even the calmest couples lose their cool. If you are having trouble fitting your guest list perfectly into your floor plan, mix up your seating chart by grouping guests with similar interests together, even if they may not know one another. Chances are that if you and your fiancé think they will hit off, your guests will have a great time meeting new people and making connections — Sheila Weiner of The Event Group.
3. Unless you’re doing small tables of six-eight people, assign seats to your guests. If you allow a free for all, someone will end up awkwardly sitting between two couples they don’t know and on the opposite end of the table from their date. Assigning seats means you can make sure everyone has a good time during dinner, and the best way to avoid a confrontation between family members that don’t get along — Stephanie Martin of One Fine Day Events.
4. Most couples are not aware that putting together your seating chart & figuring out where your guests are going to sit is extremely time consuming. My tip to planning couples is to provide guests with an earlier RSVP. Don’t use the typical two-three weeks, I always suggest a full four weeks this way you have time to reach out to those who forgot to RSVP and you have time to put together your seating. Trust me, you’ll need it — Michelle Elaine Fernie-Oley of Michelle Elaine Weddings.
5. Don’t overcomplicate things! A reception is essentially a big party, and people want to spend time with their friends at parties. Seating your guests with people they already know will encourage everyone to have fun and stay longer to celebrate with you. If you have one or two couples who don’t know anyone else, put them at a fun, welcoming table with similar interests so they don’t feel isolated — Rachael Foster of Rachael Foster Photography.