You’ve been planning your Aspen wedding for months, your RSVPs are back and now is the time to tackle the dreaded wedding seating chart. There are many options for setting up the tables, whether you want long tables or rounds. Here are some tips for getting through the wedding seating assignment process easily.
1. Decide whether you want to assign tables or both tables and seats. We highly recommend assigning tables. Although some weddings are informal, when meal time comes the chaos of finding a seat when you have no assigned spots can be hectic. Additionally, you may have people moving chairs to join tables so some tables will have 12 and others only 8. Guests will appreciate having an assigned table. However, assigning specific seats is optional. Assigning wedding seats can be helpful when having a plated meal so the caterers can easily see who ordered what meal. If you decide to assign seats you will need both escort carts at the reception entrance (or a seating chart) and place cards at the table.
2. Head Table or Sweetheart Table? Another thing to think about is whether you want to sit at the center of a long table with your wedding party (and maybe their significant others), or if you want to have your own table with just the two of you.
3. How many guests you will have at each table? First of all, determine what type of tables you will have and how many you need. Let’s say you have 100 guests, you could decide to have 10 tables of 10. Another option is to have a mix of tables of 8 and tables of 10. If your venue has tables already, they likely are the 72 inch rounds. These can fit 10 people. If you have 60 inch rounds it would be more like 8. Farm tables (10′) can seat 10-14 people. If you have Chiavari chairs you can fit more because the chairs are very narrow, however you want to consider the table will be full with decor, plates and cups, and more so it can get cramped with more people.
4. Create a layout of your floor plan. A great way to see how everything will fit in the room is to create a rough sketch of the room and where everything will go.
Once you have the tables laid out and labeled, it will be easy to see where to put everyone.
5. Assign Tables. You will need your entire guest list (need tips for creating the guest list? Go here.) and either a pencil, sticky notes or an online program that will allow you to easily change things if needed. Start with your families. The parents should be close to the head table. You can either choose to seat the parents and grandparents from both sides together, or have a table for each side (with their relatives or friends). You can get feedback from the parents if you need help deciding. If your parents are divorced you will want each parent (and spouse) to host their own table. For the head table, you can choose to include only the best man, maid of honor and their spouses and seat the rest of the wedding party at a separate table. Or you can have everyone at the table. Begin grouping people together by how you know them. For example, church friends, work friends, relatives on brides side, relatives on grooms side, college friends… etc. Avoid seating people together that have a bad history, you don’t want drama at your wedding. Always seat married couples together at the same table. Children should sit with their parents, or you could designate a kids table. For friends, if your group is large you may need to split into two or more tables. If you are inviting work friends you can have a table for “work.” For single friends, you can choose a table of all singles, or mix half single friends with married couples. Never put only one or two singles at a table with couples. Try to avoid a table with all strangers as well. Lastly, seat younger guests closer to the music and older guests farther away. Keep in mind, you can’t make everyone happy. Just do your best to put the tables together.
6. Assign Seats. If you wanted to assign particular seats at the table, then you can do that now. Keep in mind you will need to make place cards and have someone (wedding planner or coordinator, caterer) put them out at the correct spot.
7. Create the Seating Chart. You have a few options for letting your guests know their tables.
- Escort Cards- Have a card for everyone with their name and table number. You could also attach these to a favor as well. One fun idea is have glasses of champagne lined up with each persons escort card attached. They can grab the champagne and be ready for the toasts. Arrange the cards alphabetically by last name, not by table.
- Seating Chart- This is the easiest way. Make sure to list people alphabetically and not sorted by tables. This makes it easier for people to find their names quickly. Another great idea is to have a small map showing the table layouts. It can be difficult, especially when tables have names in addition to numbers.
We hope this guide to creating your table assignments and seating chart was helpful. Although this part of wedding planning can be stressful, don’t worry about it too much. If you still have questions about the seating, feel free to comment below.