If you need one more way to make a statement and to add personality and creativity to your big day, it’s by incorporating a seating chart. But you might be wondering... what’s the purpose of a seating chart? Do I need one? How do I create one? And how do I choose one that’s right for our wedding day? That’s why we’ve collected some basic knowledge about seating charts, as well as some fun & creative ideas to help guide your guests to their perfect seat.
WHAT'S THE PURPOSE OF A SEATING CHART?
Plain and simple - seating charts are designed to direct your wedding guests to an assigned table at the wedding reception. By telling your guests what table they are seated at, it eliminates the confusion on where they should seat, and helps to streamline the amount of time it takes for guests to select their seat, especially if you are on a pretty strict limeline for dinner, speeches, traditional rituals, etc.
WHAT TYPE OF WEDDING NEEDS A SEATING CHART? The most common weddings that incorporate seating charts are those that are large, or those categorized as more formal weddings, but honestly, any wedding can embrace one. Seating charts can be a forward way to group your friends and family together (or to keep some people away from each other) and you can categorize the tables as you find necessary. It can be stressful and time consuming to put together, but most find it important to group people together that know each other, such as family members,grandparents, cousins, college friends, work friends, neighbors, the single people, etc.
ADVICE WHEN IT COMES TO MAKING A SEATING CHART:
Categorize your guests by who they are and what are they about
Traditionally, plan to seat your immediate family near you (whether you decide to have a sweetheart table or head table), while you can seat your friends near the sides or back, or near the bar.
Feel free to get creative and unique here by matching it with your wedding colors, your theme, your venue, etc
Make it legible - the seating chart should be clear and easy to read with a font big enough for all to read
Keep It Simple: organize and create it so the view can easily pinpoint their name and their assigned table
Provide Order - you can either organize by table number or name, or both, but the easier the order, the quicker your guests can find their table, and the quicker you can start the party!
Whether you decide to place it on an easel, stand it on a ladder, or create a stand or hanging seating chart, there’s a variation of ways to display it
SEATING CHART & ESCORT CARDS - WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? Escort cards are individual place cards for each guest, either at a welcome table for them to pick up and place at their specific seat, or you can go one step further and place at each seat, depending on their specific table assignment. A seating chart works for any wedding, whether you have a buffet or food stations, whereas escort cards are designed for plated meal style services (with a specific identifier to let catering know what entree you have selected to eat).
WANT OUR OPINION ON SEATING CHARTS?
At the end of the day, the wedding reception is almost always meant for everyone to have a good time, and by grouping people together that know each other, it’s a positive way to start your reception off in the right direction. Nothing is worse than awkward small talk, awkward silence, or dreaded family tension with people they either don’t know, or don’t want to be in the same room with. If you have older guests, place them at tables that are easily accessible, and if you have a group of wild friends, maybe keep them in the back, near the bar. Although it can be a lot of work upfront on your end organizing who is sitting with whom, and where, we believe it’s worth it, especially because there are so many creative seating chart ideas out there.
CREATIVE SEATING CHART IDEAS - ETSY & ZAZZLE ARE OUR GO TO’S!
Acrylic Signs - clear and classy acrylic signs to hang on a backdrop, or place on an easel
Vintage Mirrors - handwritten vintage mirror to bring that classic looks
Bud Vases - with individual name cards
Frames - individual table number frames with list of guests at each table
Champagne Flutes - with individual name cards
Records - record per table, with list of names for each table
Leaves or Flower Seeds - with individual name cards
Tequila or Mini-Booze Bottles - with individual name cards
Jars - Honey, Jams, Jelly Beans, Pecans - with individual name cards
Fruit - Lemons, Limes, Oranges = with individual name cards
Ladder - a fun way to display your decor and seating chart
Scrolls - hang from a backdrop or stand
Hanging Signs - fishing wire to help hang near the entrance