The Ins and Outs of Seating Charts

The Ins and Outs of Seating Charts

The dreaded seating assignment chart. When you are planning your wedding and reception, it is something most couples consider. Should we have a seating chart or not?

There are many pros and cons to having a seating chart, as well as many reasons to have one versus not to have a seating chart. You’re not alone in your anxiety when considering one.

If you need help planning your wedding, contact Adagio Djay Entertainment. We are more than DJs; we help pull together an incredible event you will love being at, as well as your guests.

place setting at wedding

Pros of a Seating Chart

If you are on the fence with whether or not you want a seating chart, the first thing to consider is the positives. There are many advantages to having a seating chart at your reception.

Fewer problems or fights.

You know your family and friends, so you know who should and should NOT be sitting near each other. If you have some family drama, and you don’t want it rearing its ugly head at your wedding, a seating chart might be your best friend. Keeping divorced parents or relatives apart could be critical to a happy reception.

Less Confusion

It is common to see assigned seating or at least assigned tables. Assigned seating drastically limits confusion. As soon as the ceremony is over, there is generally a rush for the reception area. Assigned seating allows people peace of mind knowing they have a place to sit with their friends or family, and they can enjoy visiting with your other guests.

Furthermore, people will be able to go to the restroom, get food, or go for a dance knowing someone will not unintentionally take their seat. 

table set up at wedding reception

Show Your Creativity

If you are crafty and like to show off your creations, a seating chart is right up your alley. Imagine all of the fun things you can do with place cards, a guide board at the entrance, and more. The possibilities are endless; just take a quick browse through Pinterest.

You can tie seating chart cards or a table assignment board into your wedding theme and show off your personality, as well.

Cons of a Seating Chart

As many positives as there are to a seating chart, there are some drawbacks. It is essential to consider everything before committing. 

wedding reception

Can be Stressful

Even if you are an incredibly organized person and thrive on this type of thing, it can be stressful. Creating a seating chart is time-consuming and difficult. You have to consider everyone that is coming and seat them appropriately.

You will also have the stress of an ever-changing guest list. Inevitably, some people will not RSVP, or some people who did confirm are unable to attend at the last minute. You have to remain flexible.

It Takes Time and Energy

If you commit to creating a seating chart, you need to commit to it. Not only will you have to invest some time into organizing your guests into tables and potentially seats, but you will also have to spend additional time creating displays or cards, so your guests know where to sit.

You will have to sit down with your partner and talk through all of your guests coming. There are people who know each other who should not sit together. There are also likely people who don’t know each other that should not sit at the same table (think your ultra-liberal aunt and his ultra-conservative uncle.) 

You would hope that divisions on politics and religion stay out of weddings, but that might not always be the case.

table assignments at wedding

Getting Creative with Other Options

If you like the idea of a seating chart, but don’t necessarily want to assign all of your guests a specific seat, there are some other ways to go.

Family-style tables are long tables that can fit upwards of 30 or 40 guests. You can assign guests, or even sides of the family, a specific table or section of tables. This style of seating allows for ease of order with the wedding party and guests but also encourages more interaction among friends and family from both sides.

If you want to be a bit more organized, you can assign guests to eight or ten-person tables. When guests walk into the reception, they can find a place card or a board with people listed by table. This way, guests can still choose who they directly sit by but are still organized by area and table.

Tips for Creating a Seating Chart

A general rule of thumb to follow with seating charts is the “Rule of 75.” If you have more than 75 guests, it is wise to assign tables, if not seats, at least. A seating chart can create balance and organization that will be appreciated by all during the reception.

wedding reception

So, some tips for creating a seating chart:

  1. Before you start any planning, get the floor plan of your venue. You will want to know how many tables you can comfortably fit, as well as where the food, cake, bar, and DJ will be set up.
  2. Work with your venue to decide what kinds of tables you can use. Are they long, round, or square? How many are there? This information is essential for planning your seating chart.
  3. Figure out how many tables you will need based on the number of tables available and the number of confirmed guests.
  4. Seat yourself and the wedding party first. It’s your wedding, so it’s your choice if you want a sweetheart table or prefer to sit with your family or the wedding party. Next, seat the immediate family and wedding party.
  5. Sit down with your partner and make a list of people who absolutely can NOT sit together. Start with placing these people, and their corresponding dates or family, in different areas of the reception.
  6. Arrange the rest of your guests based on who they know and who they are coming with. Does the bride have a group of college friends from her sorority? Seat them together. How about the groom’s work colleagues? Place them near each other. Note: this is not the time to play matchmaker.
  7. Seat your younger guests closer to the dance floor. They will likely dance more than the older guests, and this area is generally louder.
  8. Ask for help! Your parents will be a massive help in discerning where family and friends should sit. Your parents have more experience with your extended family and will likely be more aware of conflict or issues that may arise.
  9. Remember, it’s your wedding! You likely won’t make everyone happy, but doing your best is all you can do. It’s your day, and it’s meant for you to enjoy.

view of wedding reception

Call Adagio Today

If you want help with creating a seating chart, or any part of the planning process for your wedding, we are here. Let us make the lead-up, as well as the day of, seamless and memorable, but in the right way. At Adagio Djay Entertainment, we have years of experience and are ready to help.

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