Weddings are happy times but there is a great deal of planning and preparation that goes into a beautiful wedding ceremony- much of which goes on behind the scenes where the guests never see or even think about! One such planning detail is the seating arrangement for the wedding reception. It is important to keep seating controlled to avoid unwanted conflict when certain people are seated next to each other for several hours. But how can a bride and groom develop a wedding seat chart without pulling their hair out in the process? Thankfully there is help available! Our wedding planning team here at Cashmere Dreams has helped many couples develop a seating chart and arrangement that will keep things peaceful and enjoyable for everyone in attendance. Here are 15 simple steps you will need to take, with our help, of course, to get your wedding seat chart done right!
Here are the simple steps to create a seating chart for a wedding
Just follow this process step by step for a painless wedding seat chart design experience. You can even print it out like a simple checklist!
- Get the floor plan.
Acquire a copy of the floor plan for the area where your reception will be held. You are going to want to know what available space you have but you will also need to consider things like where the bathrooms are, how far it is from the kitchen, if there’s room for a dance floor of DJ area, and any structural items like pillars or walls that you will want to work around for your seating arrangement.
- Figure out where the DJ or band, food, and other vendors will be.
Before you start writing up the wedding seat chart, be sure to take some time to think about everything that has to fit in the space besides the guests. Think about where all of the different vendors will be set up and how that will affect the flow of the room and what should and should not go where. You will not want the cake table to be near the restrooms and having the dance floor at the back of the venue space won’t be conducive to dancing most likely. So, think about the flow you want for your reception area.
- Choose table shapes and sizes.
Be realistic with how many people you can comfortably fit at a table. The keyword there is comfortably! You don’t want people crammed in so tight they can move. They shouldn’t feel like they are sitting in airline seats when they are at your wedding reception. Be sure people have enough space. We here at Cashmere Dreams can help you with this and we can also coordinate with the venue and the rental vendor to ensure enough tables and chairs are used and that there is enough room for all of your guests to be comfortable and to enjoy themselves!
- Calculate the number of tables you’ll need.
Look at the finalized guest list of everyone who has RSVP’d, for your reception and think about the number of tables you can fit in the space as well as the number of people you plan to seat at each one. Ensure there is enough room to easily walk around each table so people can mingle and visit easily. Your wedding seat chart may need to be reworked a few times to accommodate the number of tables needed, but it’s worth the work to get it done right!
- Create a printed out seating chart to place the guest tables.
Having a final print out with the seating arrangements in hand when you are setting up your venue is a must. Do not try to go at it from memory and try not to make any last-minute changes unless they are absolutely necessary. You do not want to cause any more stress for yourself than what you are already feeling!
- The couple gets the first choice for seating.
Every couple is different when it comes to where they want to sit. A traditional approach is to have a sweetheart table that is just the couple separated a little way from the rest of the guests. Other couples want to sit with their families at a special table reserved for them and their parents. No matter who the couple sits with, aim to put them towards the center of the area so everyone can see the happy couple and so that they remain the center of attention. After all, it is their special day! Let the newlyweds be the focal point but make sure you do what you can to avoid hurt feelings among family members and close friends, especially those who were a part of your big day or who did a lot to help you prepare and plan and pull off this amazing event.
- Give VIPs special treatment.
Aside from the bride and groom, there are a few other key VIPs that may need some special treatment for their seating arrangements on the wedding seat chart. Keep parents, grandparents and immediate family members of the bride and groom near the front and close to the couple. If there are family members of guests who have special needs or need special accommodations such as wheelchair access, keep these needs in mind when developing the seating chart. Place them in areas where they will have little trouble and will not feel like they are in the way- but also avoid sticking them in a corner where they may feel forgotten or ignored. Wedding planning experts can help you balance all these special needs and considerations and the Cashmere Dream team is here to help with this as well!
- Arrange your remaining guests based on how they know each other.
Do they know them from school or are they co-workers or have they gone to the same yoga class or book club for years? Seating people with similar interests will give them something to talk about. But whatever you do, do not try to play matchmaker and seat your BFF next to the hot guy from school. Do not create singles tables to try and create hookups. A wedding is not the best place to find a boyfriend or girlfriend and any chance romance that would develop at the reception would be a slap in the face to the bride and groom ad their special day!
- Try and put the younger guests close to the dance floor.
Wedding seat charts need to take the ages of the people attending into consideration as well. Young people are energetic and are often the backbone of the reception as far as keeping the dance floor bouncing and keeping the fun times going. They’ll enjoy the louder music and will likely appreciate any and all opportunities they are given to bust a move and jump up on the dance floor whenever their favorite songs come on. By the same token, it may be a good idea to put older guests farther away from the DJ. They won’t be as bothered by the loud music but can still get on the dance floor if they want. Just make sure they are still close enough that Great-Aunt Belle can show off her dance moves if she wants to.
- More than 10 children? Have a kid’s table.
Some people do not want kids at their wedding but many couples want their wedding to be a time for all friends and family to come and celebrate with them-including the kids. If you are going to have a dozen or so little kids under the age of 13 at your reception you may want to set up a kids table or tables for them. Have it situated so it is in proximity to all the parents so they can keep an eye on everything. For younger kids give them paper table coverings and crayons to keep them entertained and be sure to have little goodie backs for them so they feel special. You’ll also want to avoid putting them by the bar area for obvious reasons. A designated kid’s area will require more planning to seat parents nearby but the wedding planning experts at Cashmere Dreams can help you take care of all these little details!
Do your best to make people happy.
You are not going to be able to please everyone with your wedding seat chart and no one should expect the seating to be perfect. But as long as you keep the feelings of your guests in mind and show that you did try to create a seating arrangement that works as well as possible for everyone then they will know you did your best. And that is all anyone can really expect from you. If you need help with your seating arrangement or any other aspects of your wedding, contact us today and let the Cashmere Dreams wedding planning experts help make your wedding and reception the best that is can possibly be! All it takes is one phone call and we will be on our way to creating a wedding that will be the talk of the town and the envy of all your friends. Call now to schedule your consultation appointment with the Cashmere Dream team! You will be glad that you did!
Content written by Sarah Jo Lorenz-Coryell