How to Make Wedding Seating Charts with Paper
As a wedding planner I always recommend my clients do some sort of seating chart. It's either that or you do open seating. There are many downfalls to open seating such as your grandparents may get stuck at a table in the back, couples may get split up, and it can be embarrassing for the last few people who come in as they wander around looking for open seats. This is why I prefer doing seating charts. Planning the seating can be a stressful part of your wedding. But it doesn't have to be! Here are some tips to making this easier:
The easiest way to make the seating chart is to cut out "tables" from paper.
Next write each guest or couples names on a sticky note.
Lay out the tables like they will be at the reception.
The tables near the head table or sweetheart table should be reserved for close family and friends (such as parents and grandparents).
Then start putting the sticky notes with guests names on the tables.
Play around with them until you get the tables how you want them.
Don't forget to leave a table for the vendors to take a quick break (like the photographer and DJ...and of course your wedding planner).
By using sticky notes for the names this allows you to easily move people from table to table until you get it just how you want it. Very rarely do you get the seating set on the first try so this is the easiest way to rearrange it.
I always suggest my clients mix up some of the bride's family and friends with some of the groom's. (But make sure everyone at the table knows at least two others at that table.) That way they are more likely to mingle. I've been to way too many weddings where the groom's friends and family are on one side of the reception and the bride's on the other and they stay that way...no mingling. It can be very awkward.
For the actual seating you can use the standard place cards for each person/couple or you could do a seating chart. By doing a seating chart this can save you a lot of time. You can either list all of the guests names alphabetically and then list their table # beside their names or you could list them by tables.
And most importantly, don't stress too much about this. Once dinner is done the guests will be up mingling and dancing. Plus, you will be at the most important table at the front of the room! Relax and enjoy. Happy planning!