The hardest thing you will ever do as a couple in your wedding planning process is create a seating chart. I’ve heard this from almost every client I’ve had in the past; but to be honest I never realized how hard it was until I had to make one myself.
Two families coming together for a big fat wedding is always fun, but the bigger the crowd the bigger the drama. There is so much to consider and rethink. I swear it took us about 8 hours. Thankfully it was a beautiful day – and we took (LOTS of) breaks to find music or practice our first dance. Why not?!
Anyways – we had a few different versions and some last min changes before print but we survived! 😉
So if you’re about to create a seating plan for your wedding here are my tips.
- Date night anyone? Remember to take breaks, have fun, listen to music – and dress up for the occasion (casual of course), looking at how gorgeous your future hubby/wifey could help relieve some stress! Who doesn’t like a little eye candy?!
- Less is more! Do not I repeat, DO NOT invite other people into this process! It’s stressful, you’re going to want to be blunt, honest and not deal with trying be the perfect daughter/son-in-law. So sorry MILs, SILs, BILs, FILs and any other “ILs” you cannot be invited to this party. I do advise for you to speak to your parents/siblings prior so you get their input.
- Set a deadline. Set your seating plan date, two weeks after your RSVP date, and CALL everyone that hasn’t RSVPed. Honestly in today’s world everyone SHOULD understand the importance of RSVPs. It’s not rude to call someone if they haven’t responded to you it is however rude to not RSVP and then show up with extended family. Thankfully this didn’t happen at our wedding but oh have I heard stories.
- Get the big wigs done first. There are certain people that you know play a more significant role in your life – so give them the best view in the house (this may not be right beside the stage which is sometimes the worst view).
- Use sticky notes. The first thing we did was draw a layout of the room on a large sheet of paper. We stuck families/couples/friends on one sticky note; this way they stayed together and it allowed us to easily move people around and see how many empty seats we had left. It is visual aid before the excel sheet list.
- Take a picture of your rough chart – trust me the sticky notes will fall and it will be a perfect reference point in the palm of your hand.
- Use pencil – you will be erasing and adding info all the time.
- Have a few extra seats – you never know! There are always a few people that didn’t RSVP but come. Surprise! It’s always nice to have accommodations so that you’re not setting up last minute tables. Our seating chart clearly stated to check with the wedding planner if you couldn’t find your seat. Any empty seats were then filled with these guest. They may not have the choice to sit together but that’s what happens when you don’t RSVP!
- Load each name into a Google Doc Spreadsheet. Names in one column and the table number in the next. Google docs are also amazing – you can share the seating chart with everyone and see any updates they make as you go.
- ALWAYS stick to alphabetical order. Ok so this is something I know as a designer but this is a VERY common mistake that many couples make. Never, ever, ever, ever set your seating chart by table number. I could go on for AGES about this, but simply put; no one will know their table number walking into your wedding but they will (hopefully) know their name!