When planning a wedding, one of the most frustrating decisions comes in the form of a little piece of paper and a chair… yes, seating charts and whether or not to have them. Even with small, intimate weddings, this can cause a spot of trouble. Many brides want low key, relaxed, “un-stuffy” receptions while many mothers and soon to be mother-in-laws want an escort table with a seating plan. And in this case, Mother knows best. Even if it is a party of 25, the same issues arise as a party of 250. So here are some things to keep in mind to make it easier on you and on your guests.
- Just because people are assigned to a table doesn’t mean that they are “married” to that table for the evening. After dinner, have your DJ or band encourage people to get up and dance, mingle.
- Even if you are having stations, having assigned tables makes it easier on your guests. You know that your Uncle Bob has to eat early or that Aunt Mabel will take forever with talking to everyone, so placing them at tables that get released to go to the stations will prevent headaches during and after your wedding.
- Having a seated served dinner – this is a must. Not only will the caterer know who is getting what with their entree choice, but if your cousin Joe is gluten free, this is the easiest way for the caterer to know which table he is sitting at.
- It’s a great way for your friends and your future spouse’s friends to become friends. When you have open seating, it is like a middle school lunch hall, someone’s feelings will be hurt and it can ruin your evening. Safe plan – mix friends up a bit. Worried that people won’t have anything to talk about? There are some adorable mad libs and table games on pinterest that will get your guests talking.
- This plan also helps the inevitable where the two people who dislike one another end up sitting next to each other because there’s no other open seat, or a family of four gets split up because there’s two chairs at one end of the room and two at the other.
How to go about plotting seating plans:
- Ask your caterer for a diagram of the room. This way you will know what tables are close to which station, the bathroom, etc. Plus then you don’t have to draw it out yourself!
- Number the tables and then decide how many people to each table.
- Get some post-it tabs. Each post-it is a person. This way you can move people around.
- Once you have the perfect plan, put it into a spreadsheet. If you are having a seated served, this is a great way to keep track of who is having what. This way you can email it to your caterer, your invitation studio, and your wedding planner.
- This is a great lazy Sunday morning project and is something that you and your fiance do together.