So you’re at the ‘not so fun’ part of planning, assigning your guests to tables for your reception. I know it can feel a bit overwhelming so I’ve compiled a list of tips to help you get started. Enjoy!
Quick run down
- Determine which form of seating you’d like
- Have an estimate guest list / count
- Get the floor plan from your venue
- Decide if you want a sweetheart table vs head table
1. SEATING STYLE
Seating chart : The easiest and most traditional way to seat your guests. Whether it’s a beautiful mirror, acrylic, wood sign, etc with your guests names + table numbers, it’s a classic. BONUS: Decorate that chart with florals, you won’t regret it!
Escort Cards : One of the more fun options, you can really get creative with this idea. An escort card is a card with your guests’ name and table number on it…however couples step outta the box and not use just a card. You’ll have a section in your reception with the escort cards hanging onto some type of display.
I’ve seen the escort card paired with many options such as: the wedding favor, champagne wall, and even really pretty paper with chiffon ribbon. The list is endless, just search ‘escort card display’ on Pinterest and you’ll become inspired immediately! It’s super interactive for your guests and makes their experience fun and unique.
Place Cards : Similar to escort cards but these cards are already on the plate at the table. Whether you want pretty labels with names, or even use a different form of material, just have fun with it!
2. GUEST COUNT / LIST
I wouldn’t necessarily say you need your full guest list in place but once those RSVPs start coming, pop up a Google sheet and get an early start on where you want your guests to go.
If you need some help crafting your guest list, I’ve got the post for! ‘Ways To Curate Your Wedding Guest List’
3. SNAG THE FLOOR PLAN
Get in touch with your wedding venue to see their common floor plans (with the types of tables you are wanting – round or rectangle? Decide on a shape!) Having a visual representation of your reception seating can help relieve some of that stress.
4. SWEETHEART TABLE vs. HEAD TABLE
Sweetheart : A table for just you and your husband. The benefits of a sweetheart table include a relaxing dinner without disruptions, cute photo opportunities, and a chance to step away from the madness and actually enjoy your dinner. Most couples don’t even eat during their wedding day because they are wrapped up in guests. You NEED to eat!
This gives your wedding party a chance to eat their dinner with their plus one as well!
Head Table : Whether it’s with your wedding party or you want your family with you, it’s the classic and traditional option. The best part of the head table is that you get to enjoy time with your special people!
HELPFUL TIPS WHEN CREATING YOUR SEATING ARRANGEMENT
1. Keep your FAMILY close
During events such as toasts and dances, you’ll want your family and close friends in those images and not some random guest your parents invited. This depends heavily on your floor plan so it can vary on where the best seats in the house are but as long as they are close to you, they’ll be so happy!
Another option is designating a table for all of the parents / grandparents that way they are all together.
2. Sit people with who they KNOW
To give your guests an enjoyable experience, sit them with people they are familiar with. Group your guests by how you group your guest list…by family, wedding party, extended family, close friends, work friends, etc.
3. Don’t forget your VENDORS!
We’ve got to eat too and it’s nice to sit down for a bit after standing all day. Your vendor will LOVE you for this, trust me! Usually vendors are seated with the extras / the random table (lol) but that’s ok!
4. Enlist help from the parents
If you are feeling stuck on some extended family / parents friends, ask them!
5. Kids tables!
These are so fun for the kids (and parents) because you can also make it interactive for them with coloring sheets (wedding related of course.) However, keep the table close to the parents so they aren’t wandering off too far!
6. Considerations for the elderly
Sit them closer to the exit and/or bathrooms and AWAY from the loud speakers, it’ll make the wedding so much enjoyable for them!