Even though a seating chart isn’t mandatory, most couples opt to create one. By assigning seats it tends to make things simpler and ensures each table is filled to max capacity and allows for ease of service during dinner.
You may have heard that making the seating chart is the worst task when planning a wedding as it is a big game of musical chairs, but it doesn’t have to be with these tips.
Start the seating chart early. Do not leave this for a week before the wedding or worst the night before!! You have more important things to think about. Yes, it’s fine to make last minute changes, but try and finalize details a week before your wedding.
Start organizing your guests by groups. Group your guest list in categories - high school friends, college friends, family, coworkers, etc. This doesn’t mean you have to sit them exactly like this, but this will help to form a picture in your head of who knows each other and who gets along.
Once you have categorized your guests into groups, start to figure out who knows each other and who would get along. Your college friends probably will instantly click with your high school friends, but your boss may not connect with your sorority sisters.
It is very important to keep a paper trail, whether it is a spread sheet or pen and paper. If you are a more visual person like I am, draw circles for each table on a large sheet of paper and write names inside them. (important: keep in mind how many people can comfortably be seated at each table)
Traditionally, you and your bridal party sit at a head table. This table is long and straight and is placed along a wall facing the reception tables or in the center of the room. Typically, the bride and groom sit in the middle of the table with the best man and maid of honor on either side of them, and then the rest of the bridal party (bridesmaids on one side and groomsmen on the other). If you are not wanting to be traditional, consider a sweetheart table. This is perfect for one on one time with your new spouse.
Place you and your fiancés parents along with grandparents closest to the head table. They deserve to get the best seat in the house. It is important for them to hear and see the toasts and speeches.
Always take into account that some family members or friends just do not get along. In the case that you or your partner’s parents are divorced and are uncomfortable sitting next to each other try and place them at separate tables. When you have the right combination of people at each table, you give your guests the chance to mingle, meet and celebrate your wedding in a memorable way.