Where Do They Sit? Creating Your Wedding Reception Seating Chart

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seating chart

Deciding who to invite to your wedding can be tricky enough. Once they’ve been invited and have RSVP’s “Yes” now you have to decide where they will sit.

Figuring out a seating chart takes a bit of time, but the effort adds to the comfort level of our guests, as well as saving you some money on unneeded extras.

Think of it this way – if you have 100 people coming to your reception, with a seating chart you will only need seating (as well as china, glassware, and flatware) for 100 people. If you have open seating (meaning your guests get to choose where to sit), your guests won’t fill in every seat at a table before moving on to the next table, so you will need to have at least one or two additional tables, as well as the necessary china, glassware, flatware AND table linens, napkins, and centerpieces!

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Before you put together a seating chart, you will first need to know how the room will be set up. When working with your venue manager, they will need to know not only how many guests will be in attendance, but they will need to know how you would like the room set up, so ask them to provide a copy of the room layout diagram.

The best advice? Start with the room set up and create a room diagram with all the tables (including guests’ seating, as well as tables for the cake, gifts, and DJ). Make sure the room diagram also includes the dance floor and bars and cocktail tables, and any other table you may be needing.

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A couple things that are helpful for your venue manager to configure the room to best suit you and your reception are:

  1. Will there be a head table for the entire wedding party or will there just be a separate sweetheart table for the happy couple, with the wedding party seated at the guest tables?
  2. Will the head table include the parents, or will you have separate tables for parents and grandparents?


A couple things to ask your venue manager that will help you create your seating chart are:

  1. What size are their tables?
  2. How many people can be comfortable seated at the tables (most venues have round tables that seat 8 or 10 people)?

Will you number the tables or name them? Who will sit where? Is where they will be seated be a big deal for some guests and not an issue for others?

Keep these basics in mind as the chart is worked.

  1. Don’t seat divorced or divorcing couples together
  2. Don’t seat a divorced person with a table of happy couples
  3. Don’t seat guests who haven’t spoken to one another for decades at the same table
  4. Don’t seat heavy drinkers right next to the bar
  5. Don’t seat elderly relatives in hard to reach seats or right next to the DJ’s speakers
  6. If you have guests who love to dance, seat them close to the dance floor
  7. If you have relatives that don’t get along, avoid placing them at the same table
  8. Seat children with their parents and not at a kid’s only table, unless the children are old enough to be at a table without grown-ups, or you are providing childcare
  9. Be flexible enough to do some last minute juggling of places if you see a problem developing

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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To see how Weddings From The Heart can make your wedding day stress-free, enjoyable, and just the way you want, contact me at 937-235-2586, 937-581-3647, or jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net and schedule your free, initial appointment!

Photo credit: © Thinglass | Dreamstime.com – Wedding Seating Plan Photo

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