Weddings are beautiful, emotional, joyous occasions, but they can also be a bit of a logistical nightmare. This is why you need to a good quality wedding seating plan chart to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Take a look at our ultimate guide to a making a wedding seating plan chart that you can be proud of.
Is a Seating Chart Really Necessary?
We understand; with so much to think about at a wedding, is it really necessary to add more work to that ever-growing pile? Well, yes, unfortunately, it is, particularly if you are having a large scale wedding with many guests.
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, and never is this more true than at a wedding, so prepare your seating chart and prepare it well.
When to Start the Planning
As soon as you start receiving your RSVPs, you need to start the planning. Make sure to keep the seating chart fluid to accommodate late responders, but start early to prevent the task looming over you as the day creeps ever closer.
How to Arrange the Tables
Choosing the best table arrangement is all about making the best use of the space available. Read on for a few pointers on how to do this;
- Remember to include avenues and access points for waiters and guests to move around
- Circular tables are best for bringing groups together
- Make sure that all of your guests can see the speechmakers
Who to Sit Together
Selecting who to sit together can be really tricky. Here are a few tips;
- Of course, consider your guests personalities, circles of friends and age groups when choosing who will sit together
- If you can’t fit all the parents around the bridal table, don’t put any there at all. The last thing you want to do at your wedding is to hurt anyone’s feelings, so this should be a major consideration as you plan
- Remember to seat your guests with a mixture of people they do and don’t know, to unify your wedding party
- Avoid specifically trying to pair up single guests in the hope they will hit it off. This kind of matchmaking is too obvious and can lead to awkwardness, which you don’t want!
Things to Consider
Think About the Space
When you build a seating plan, you need to start with a room plan. Where is the amplification equipment going to be? How are guests going to easily get to and from the toilets? Where will the speeches take place? Factor all this in as you create your seating chart.
Lead the Conversation
Awkward small talk is a fact of life at a wedding, but there’s no need to encourage it. Place photos on the table, objects that will trigger memories and start anecdotes, and let the conversation flow.
Think About Who Knows Who
Of course you want to put families together, but you don’t want to atomise the room. Instead, think about who knows who, and then mix it up. Putting guests on tables where they know some of the guests but not others is a great way to bring your wedding party together.
Skipping the Plan
Too many people opt to go it alone, without a solid seating plan. This is a recipe for carnage! Don’t do it.
Not Talking it Out
Planning a wedding is difficult enough without going it alone. When it comes to the seating plans, get your nearest and dearest together to discuss ideas and to take some of the weight off your shoulders.
Making a Singles Table
You might think it is a good idea to have a “singles table” or tables, but this can backfire. This kind of set-up can make your single friends feel slightly left out, so it is best to avoid this by mixing your single friends into the main plan.
Everyone wants a happy and harmonious day for their wedding. To achieve this, you need to show the appropriate etiquette and respect to your guests. Here are a few tips;
Check and Double Check
Make sure there is a place for everyone who has responded, then check the list and check it again to avoid any embarrassment.
Show Guests the Appropriate Consideration
Your guests are there to celebrate your special day with you, so you need to treat them accordingly. Making sure your seating plan reflects their needs is an easy way to show your guests a bit of courtesy and to add a personal touch to proceedings.
Don’t spell anyone’s name wrong on your seating chart, don’t accidentally use a former surname, in fact, don’t call anyone by any name other than the one they prefer!
Great Seating Plan Examples
There are a thousand and one ways to display your finished seating chart. Here are some of the best;
An Elegant Picture Frame
A classic blackboard is great way to display your wedding seating chart, but why not turn up the elegance a little with an elegant picture frame fit for the Louvre?
Photo by Ryan Flynn Photography on Society Bride via Lover.ly
A Quirky Map
Celebrate your connection to your hometown by displaying your wedding seat chart via a map of your beloved city, naming your tables after its different parts.
Photo via Toptableplanner.com/
A Vintage-Inspired Board
Show your love for each other and also for your guests with an ornately crafted and decorated board like this one.
Photo by OneLove Photography
Mixing it Up
Still stuck for ideas for your wedding seating plan chart? Try some of these on for size.
Garden Themed Weddings
A garden theme is a great idea for a summer wedding, so how about displaying your seating plan using some of these handy plant pots?
Photo by Caught The Light via 100 Layer Cake
Old School Romance
Show that romance certainly isn’t dead with a scroll pinned to a tree with an arrow, Robin Hood-style.
Photo via BespokeBride.com
Retro Window Panes
A simple but beautifully effective idea; retro window panes with your seating plan and your guests’ names written on. Just make sure the glass is clean!
Photo by Our Labour of Love via Ruffled
By all means, let your imagination run wild when you create your wedding seating chart, but here are a few templates you can use to give you some structure. Think of these as blank canvases on which to project your vision.
Photos by LittleThingsFavors.com
We hope you enjoyed our guide and are now equipped with everything you need ahead of your special day! Do you have any tips to share? Any horror stories from weddings you have attended? Let us know!