While assigned seating at a wedding isn’t mandatory, most couples choose to do one. With plated dinners, seating charts make it easier and your venue may even require you to provide one. It may seem overwhelming at first, but we’ve compiled some tips to make this process easier!

First, you’ll want to figure out what kind of chart or cards you’ll need. Below is a list of your options:

Place Cards – Place cards are used to assign each guest a specific seat. These will be placed at each individual seat.

Escort Cards – Escort cards are used to tell each guest what table they are sitting at.

Seating Chart – Seating charts are essentially a large list posted at the reception that shows guests what tables they are sitting at.

Once you decide whether you need place cards, escort cards or a seating chart, use the tips below to guide you throughout the process!

  1. Before you start your seating chart you’ll need to find out what kind of tables you’ll be using (round vs rectangle), how many people you can comfortably sit at each table and the floor layout. If you’re using tables from the venue they should be able to assist in figuring out all of these items.
  2. Wait until everyone has RSVP’d. You may want to get a jump start on your seating chart, but if you start too early, you’ll end up creating more work for yourself.
  3. Decide where you and your bridal party will sit. Do you want a sweetheart table or do you want to sit with your bridal party? Will your bridal parties dates be seating with the bridal party?
  4. Make a color coded list of all your guests. Sort them by brides family, grooms family, high school friends, college friends, work friends, etc. This will help you visualize who already knows each other and will get along.
  5. Organize the guests in order of importance. Start with where you want to sit, then family, then the bridal party. Once you start placing those people you can fill in empty seats easily.
  6. Not sure where to put Aunt Susan since she doesn’t get along with Uncle Jack? Ask your parents. Enlist their help in figuring out where family should sit if you’re unsure. They’ll also be able to help in seating their friends.
  7. Save your friends the uncomfortableness of sitting at the “singles” table. Be considerate of their feelings when seating your single friends. Make sure they’re seated with other friends who they enjoy.
  8. Consider a kids table. If you have multiple children attending your wedding, you may want to seat them all at one table. You can provide games and activities for them to play with. Although, make sure that your kids table isn’t too far away from where their parents are seated.
  9. Take age into consideration. Your older guests may not want to sit right next to your band or dj, but your younger guests may enjoy being closer to the music. Handicapped guests should be seated somewhere they have easy access to leave their seat.
  10. There are two common methods to laying out a seating chart. You can do the post it note method or do it digitally. To do the post it note method you’ll use the color coded list you have already compiled and put each person on their specified color post it note. You can then lay them out on a drawing of the table layouts and move people around until you’re satisfied! There are also websites that allow you to input your guest list and assist in creating a digital seating chart.