Not every wedding needs a seating chart—especially if you’re group is on the smaller side and more familiar with one other. But if you’re having a large wedding and a more formal seated meal, you might want to consider table assignments. It will prevent guests from feeling awkward while looking for an appropriate spot, and it will ensure that everyone is comfortable with who they’re sitting with.
1. Do not start working on the seating chart until all of your RSVPs are in. Your time is limited—so don’t waste any of it by trying to plan the seating before you know exactly who’s coming.
2. Ask your wedding planner for the floor plan. Know exactly how many tables you’ll have, how many guests each will hold, and where they’re located on the floor.
3. Don’t have someone else do the seating chart for you. Yes, you do have a lot going on at this point, but you know your guests best, so you’re in charge.
4. Seat each guest at the same table with at least one other person that they know.
5. Decide where your wedding party is going to sit. Even if you plan to keep them all together at a VIP table, make sure their dates are still sitting next to them.
6. Keep the entertainment in mind. Have the younger guests, and those more likely to dance, sit at the tables closest to the dance floor. Also, find out where the music speakers will be placed so that you don’t seat the elderly guests too close to them.
7. Have a spot for the seating chart. Use a unique display, like a chalkboard, to list out each table and its guests. Post the chart somewhere that is directly visible to the guests so they know that one actually exists. Also, make sure the tables are labeled clearly.