We get it, wedding planning can be stressful. There are a lot of different moving elements and if you don’t have money in your budget to get a full planner or just don’t have the right organizational skills, all of the different details can get scrambled together.
One of the most stressful parts of any wedding can be the seating chart for the reception. Between people not sending back their RSVP cards, last minute add-ons or drop outs, and complex family dynamics, it’s no wonder so many couples are now opting for an open seating plan instead of assigning each guest a seat.
In some instances though, open seating is not the best option, especially if you’re having a formal plated dinner. Maybe you just have a really cute seating card idea- whatever the case, we’re here to give you a few seating chart tips!
Organizing Your Seating Chart
A lot of people can get bogged down by the thought of a seating chart. You could get everyone put into place and then the next day find out your fourth cousin and their five kids are planning to come, even though they didn’t RSVP by the deadline.
The easiest way to arrange your seating chart is to get a floor plan of your venue, organize where your tables will be, number those tables, and draw a large version on cardboard or poster board. It doesn’t have to be perfect lines looking, but just enough to get the basic idea. There are also online generators you can use if you want to be more tech savvy. Make sure you have the most updated version of your guest list, get out some highlighter, and go to town!
Head Table? Sweetheart table?
The most important seating location is for the couple getting married! Where you and your beloved sit is extremely important in providing room flow and picture opportunities! A head table for the newlyweds and their wedding party used to be the traditional norm. This table is the focal point of the room, normally decorated very elegant, and all eyes are on you! This option gives you the chance to talk with your wedding party throughout the dinner.
It’s becoming increasingly more popular now to simply just have a sweetheart table. This two person table is much more intimate, especially if you just want a few moments alone with your new husband or wife! A sweetheart table makes for some stunning photos, and can be moved around the room or taken down after dinner is over if you need more space for a dance floor (this option is incredibly popular here at The River Room!)
Neither option is necessarily better than the other, it just comes down to if you want to be with lots of people during dinner or just you and your new spouse.
Chair Covers, Bows, Cushions, OH MY!
If you spend time looking through Pinterest for wedding inspiration (as most soon to be brides or grooms do) you might come across a lot of venues with chairs decked out with bows, cushions, or chair covers. If you want to go the extra mile as far as decorations go, however don’t forget about all of the work 150 bows takes to tie.
We get it, some venues may have less than appealing chairs that may need a little TLC or you may not have it in your budget to rent the fancier chairs, but there are a lot of factors when considering chair additions.
Will adding large bows make the space feel smaller? Is there an added charge for stains on rented chair covers? Will there be enough time during set up to tie all of the bows?
Seating is important for any wedding because your guests will not want to stand during your entire reception. At the same time, if Aunt Linda doesn’t get along with Uncle Fred, you want to make sure to sit them far away from each other.
You don’t want to stress yourself out too much over the seating details, and you need to remember that this is going to be one of the happiest days of your life! Don’t be afraid to recruit help from family of friends!