Your Wedding Seating Layout
Would I put Megan and Aunt Becky together or would Megan go at Tim’s table? Will Erica feel uncomfortable being seated at the same table as Michael after that fight they had last year? The interworking’s of your own family and friends can be very difficult to navigate, now throw your partner's family and friends into the mix and you are faced with what feels like a giant undertaking: the seating chart. [Photo by Jackie Averill Photography]
Head Table Or Sweetheart Table
Let's start with one of the easier decisions! Do you and your partner want to sit together, privately, at a sweetheart table? The alternative is to do a head table where you will be seated with others, typically the wedding party and their dates but occasionally family is included here.
Speak to your venue to find out the size of the tables that they offer. Some venues have rounds, others long tables. Often the rounds seat 8-10 people but sometimes they can offer a mix of 8-10 and a larger size that seats 10-12. Just because a table can fit 10 people doesn't mean you have to fill each table. Some can have 7 people while others can have 10. Just don't ever plan to go higher than what the table can fit- squeezing isn't going to work for anyone!
Start with your Friends
You and your partner can dive right into figuring out where your friends can sit. Make sure you account for people who are bringing plus ones. You may have to make some calls to people who don't get their RSVP's in on time.
Talk to your Parents
Sit down with both your parents and your partners parents to get a better understanding of who they think could be seated together. A lot of times, there may even be family friends that you haven't spoken to since you were a kid, but mom and dad said they must be on the invite list ;-)
Your Floor Plan Copy
Get a copy of your floor plan from you venue so that you can match table numbers to ballroom floor locations. We usually recommend keeping odd numbers on one side and even on the other side, but talk to your venue because they may have a recommendation about what works best for their space.
Mapping Things Out
Here is what we recommend in order to stay organized and to be able to really visualize how the seating chart is coming together.
Pick up a big piece of poster board- yes, the kind you used in grade school. Places like CVS and Target should carry it! Draw out your tables with circles or rectangles. You won’t know yet exactly how many tables you will end up having, but you can estimate for now based on the layout from your venue.
When you receive an RSVP, write the persons name on a Post It sticky tab and put them at a table. .The nice thing about doing it this way is that you can easily move the tabs around rather than having to erase or cross off.
Of course you can chose to do this on the computer too, but we love the idea of a giant area to work with and see everything at once.
This tends to be a challenging exercise especially when it is so close to your wedding day. You go back and forth because you don't want to offend anyone in your seating choice for them and you want to make sure they are with people they will enjoy being around. Take a deep breath though and remember that your music is going to be so awesome that everyone is going to be up dancing anyway!
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