The details to consider when wedding planning are virtually endless. Should you have wedding welcome bags? What makes for the perfect cake? Who is going to be the wedding photographer? All of these things and more must be addressed, but one of the biggest headaches is the creation of the seating plan. Depending on how your families interact with one another, the seating plan can get political. We can’t help you with every minute decision, but we can offer some planning tips to set you on the right track.
Do note that having assigned seating is not mandatory, but it does tend to make plated meals flow better. When the caterers know who is sitting where, they can efficiently serve the specific meals that your guests have ordered.
Tips for Creating a Wedding Seating Plan
Decide on table shapes and sizes
Once you have the finalized guest list, the next step is to choose the tables. Rectangular tables can generally accommodate more people and make conversations across the table easier, while round tables give people more legroom and are sometimes viewed as being more traditional.
Create guest groups
You don’t have to put your high school friends with other high school friends or your work friends with each other, but creating guest categories can simplify the seating plan process. Separate tables for the wedding party, kids, and parents/grandparents/siblings of the bride and groom are some common categories.
If you have family members that are at odds with one another, having multiple tables that are the same distance away from the bride and groom is an option.
Be sensitive to your guests’ feelings
You’re tying the knot; it’s only natural for you to want your friends and family members to share the same happiness that you do. However, creating a singles table or seating an unmarried friend with a table full of married people could be uncomfortable, or at worst, embarrassing. You know your guests best, so seat at your discretion. Maybe your single friends would all love to be at the same table, but if not, you might want to rethink your plans.
Create a digital seating chart
After you have your guest groups (if you’re creating them), it can be helpful to create a flexible digital seating chart. You may find that you want to change things dramatically or make small tweaks; using a tool like the ones available from WeddingWire or Wedding Mapper can assist you in that process.