Seating Plan Tips

Wedding Blog

Wedding planning insights from the experts.

Seating Plan Tips

Kathryn Draney
When crafting your seating chart for your wedding reception, the task can seem daunting. Where do you even start? It can be tempting to not even have a seating chart at all - to do open seating, a free-for-all, so that you can save time and stress on planning. However, having a seating chart will save your guests from the awkward "where do we sit" conversations and will allow you go pair people that you would like to meet, keep guests apart that you'd like separated, and prioritize who sits closest to you on your big day. Keeping your guests organized will help the day run extra smoothly and is worth the extra planning time. Plus, seating charts will ensure you have your table numbers and sizes correct.

Here are some tips to consider when you create your wedding seating chart:
NEVER host open seating
You will either run out of chairs at a table or certain tables could look empty. You remember trying to find a good seat at a cafeteria in school - why recreate that feeling for guests? If you have the seats preselected, the guests won't feel the pressure to find an empty chair. Plus, you have the opportunity to ensure everyone is seated by someone they'll enjoy having dinner with.

It is okay to have a mix of tables
Some of your tables will have 8, some 10, and some only 7. No one is looking at your counts besides you! On your big day, this detail will go unnoticed, so don't waste your energy stressing. Simply prioritize making the tables fun and cohesive - it doesn't matter if there's an empty chair.

Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize
Who should be closest to the dance floor? Who should be closest to your sweetheart table? Seating charts give you the freedom to make these choices. If you want the fun singles near the dance floor, and want your grandparents close to you, seat that way! If you have a crazy uncle or aunt you want to place on the opposite end of the room from the bar, you have the power to make that happen.

Place Cards or Seating Chart?
You know your guests best. When you have to decide between place cards or a seating chart, consider who you've invited and go with your gut feeling. You can always do both, too! No matter how cute the charts are on Pinterest, if you think your wedding would flow better with place cards, do those instead.

Finally, if you're planning the seating chart and you get frustrated, take a break and come back to it. You have plenty of time and plenty of things to divert your attention to - the seating chart can easily be a work-in-progress that you and your significant other tackle over time, instead of all in one evening.