5 Steps To A Low-Tech, Low-Stress Wedding Seating Chart

Creating the wedding seating chart is one part of wedding planning that makes most bridal couples cringe. But you can do it successfully without losing your sanity. Here are five steps to make a low-tech seating chart without stressing out. 

Lay Out the Tables First. Before you jump into the job of assigning people to tables, make sure you know how the tables will be set up. You can use something as simple as a paper drawing of the reception venue and colored paper cutouts of rented tables. Place the head table and VIP tables close to one another and include space for odds and ends like cake tables, buffet tables, and the music or DJ station.

Use Sticky Notes. While some high-tech brides or grooms might want to use a spreadsheet, an app, or special wedding planning software, you can save a lot of time and money just by using Post-it notes. Use narrow, small sticky notes to write all the guests names down. Stick them to the table cutouts from the previous step for easy moving and planning.

Start With the VIP Sections. Start from the top of your priority list of friends and family. These will probably be the people that you care most about where they sit. Bridal party members, parents, your siblings and children should be placed first and most specifically. Visualize the tables' appearance with decorations and with everyone dressed for the wedding. 

Assign Tables, Not Seats. Part of the stress of creating seating charts often involves who sits by whom and their personal idiosyncrasies. One way to get offload some of this stress is to give them some freedom of choice. Assign guests to a table or a section, not a specific seat. They can move around among themselves without throwing off your plans. 

Don't Overthink It. No seating chart will ever make everyone happy. Expending your energy for total perfection will just rob you of joy. Do the best you can and let the rest go. If you think there might be difficulties among individual guests, rent and decorate an empty backup table where your planner can reassign folks on their own. And remember that people will move around once dinner is over, so their disappointment will likely be short-lived. 

These five steps will help you design a great reception layout and place your guests where they — and you — will be happy. Contact a wedding rental company for more help.