Creating the perfect seating chart for a wedding can prove to be stressful for lots of couples. You can never be entirely sure what personalities will mesh well together, and of course, you want everyone to have a good time! You may have already figured out that sitting your highly religious childhood friend next to the overbearing uncle who swears a lot isn’t the best bet, but who should be at which table, then?
The following are a few simple tips for planning your seating chart to make the process as painless as possible.
Where do YOU want to sit?
Deciding on where you and your brand new spouse want to sit is a great place to start. Do you want the wedding party to share your table, or would you prefer to sit with parents? Maybe you would be most comfortable with a sweetheart table for just the two of you. Making this decision first will inform your coming table arrangements as you’ll know who’s left to be planned for and who’s sitting with you.
Keep it Simple
Most guests will tell you that some kind of seating arrangement is preferred, otherwise, it can get awkward around meal time. That being said, there is no rule stating that you must assign specific seats to each guest. You can assign people to specific tables and let them choose where they’re most comfortable from there. Encourage people to mingle between tables after everyone’s eaten, that way everyone gets a chance to talk with guests they weren’t seated next to.
Ask for help!
Don’t feel like you have to do everything on your own! While you probably know most of the guests who are attending, there may be people who your mother, mother-in-law, or the best man have more insight on. Get their opinions if you’re not sure where to seat someone, or if you’re unclear on the history between different guests.
The day of your wedding, ask a couple of close friends to float between tables to make sure everyone is getting along and conversations are flowing nicely. You’ll feel better knowing that someone is attending to your guests’ socially, so you can focus on enjoying your evening!
Make it fun
Instead of numbering tables, why not think of unique names for each one? You could choose something personal to the two of you, like places you’ve traveled together or your favorite spots to visit in your city. This approach is a great conversation starter for guests who don’t know each other and is a lot more romantic than assigning people to numbers 1-12.
We get that it can be frustrating to hear from your friend that she absolutely can’t sit next to Karen anymore because they’ve had a big fight, or to realize last minute that your cousin is separating from his wife so she’ll no longer be attending. When developing your seating chart, avoid finalizing anything until shortly before your big day.
You may also consider flagging a few people as being able to fit in at different tables. This will make it easier to know who you can easily move if necessary to keep seating balanced. This being said, don’t feel like you have to accommodate last minute requests to switch tables. As much as you want your guests to have an amazing time, you have enough stress without rearranging your entire chart the night before you get married!
Figuring out who should sit where can be challenging, but try your best to enjoy the process! After all, each of your guests is there to celebrate you and your fiancée so everyone already has that in common. Beyond that, who knows what great connections could be made!