The RSVPs are in, the dinner menu is set, and your Instagram-worthy centrepieces are perfect. Next on your endless to-do list is your wedding seating chart. Considering table size and family dynamics, the seating chart can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.
Are Wedding Seating Charts Even Necessary?
Do you even want a wedding seating chart? Some couples are doing away with the formality altogether, wanting to give all their guests a chance to mingle. There’s a freedom in letting people sit where they want, and can avoid awkward forced conversations.
But keep in mind what makes seating charts helpful, to begin with. Assigned seating may not be as important for a self-serve buffet dinner but with a plated dinner, planned seating helps servers get each guest their desired meal quickly and efficiently. This is especially important if you have guests with specific dietary requirements. Assigned seating can also avoid heated exchanges between guests who insist they should be closer to the bride!
Don’t Stress Out! Here’s How To Nail Your Seating Chart
Start Devising Your Wedding Seating Plan Immediately.
Think about your seating plan as soon as you start thinking about your guest list. Sometimes the seating plan is just the tool you need to make an excuse for leaving some people out. Other times it might remind you of a guest you almost forgot!
Choose Your Table Shape and Size
Larger rectangular tables that accommodate more people can keep groups of family and friends together and help avoid leaving guests seated with others they don’t know very well. However, smaller round tables mean a guest can speak to everyone seated with them without raising their voice.
Round tables also make it easier to add an extra table setting, or remove one without leaving a noticeable gap. However, the more tables there are increases the number of ways people may need to squeeze behind others! Speak to your venue about the number, size and shapes of tables they recommend because they’ve seen it all and know the perfect fit.
Map Out Your Seating Chart
Once you know your tables, get a large piece of paper and draw out a bird’s eye view of your venue. Mark out the bridal table, the dance floor, and entrances. Think about where guests will move to visit the bathroom. These can all play a factor in where to best seat your guests.
Decide Where You’ll Be Sitting First
How close they are to the bride and groom is important for many guests. For others, you may be glad to have some buffer. You want to be where you have the best view of the venue and where people can come and go to wish you well. So before seating anyone else, find where the bridal table will be and decide who will be on it.
Put Your Family Next
Your friends will understand – no matter how hard you try, some family members will think the event is more about them than you. Keep those fussy aunts happy and find a place that makes them comfortable while giving you room to enjoy the day for yourself.
Find Common Ground
While many of us are excited about meeting new people, not everyone is the same. Think about the people who would get along well with each other and those who might clash heads. Try to avoid putting anyone on a table with no one they know.
Bring Children Together
Receptions can be long affairs, and especially tiring for children who have done so well behaving themselves throughout the ceremony. Think about having a dedicated kids table. Your venue and events organisers can even arrange to offer special features like colouring-in table-clothes or balloons instead of candles.
Keep in mind that what you consider a child might not be what a child does. Some pre-teens and teens might prefer to sit with the adults, and you might just become their favourite person by giving them that opportunity.
Skip the Singles Table
There is nothing more awkward than knowing you are on the singles table. If you want to set your friend up with your new brother-in-law, introduce them on the dancefloor. Setting them up on the same table gives neither the opportunity to escape if they feel awkward.
Planning a wedding takes a lot of time and effort. It’s easy to feel stressed out and overwhelmed. But with a bit of organisation, you’ll breeze through creating your wedding seating chart with nothing to worry about but enjoying your beautiful wedding day with Navarra Venues.