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Wedding Advice

July 30, 2014

DC Wedding Planner | Tackling the Seating Chart

Tackling the Seating Chart | DC Wedding Planner | St. Francis Wedding

Photo Cred: Dyanna Joy Photography

With talking with a lot of new and incoming couples, one of the questions I’ve been hearing more frequently is how to tackle the dreaded seating chart. Who sits where? What if I choose long tables verses multiple rounds? Do I even need a seating chart? Keep reading to see how we tackle some of this topic’s tricky questions!

Tackling the Seating Chart | DC Wedding Planner | Clarendon Ballroom | Washington DC | Brett + Matt #dcweddingplanner

Photo Cred: Birds of a Feather Photography

Do I Even Need a Seating Chart?…..YES! Well Sort of…

I can’t stress to my clients enough that order to a wedding reception is so important. Yes, we don’t want your guests to feel stuffy, but at the same time, guiding your guests to their seat or table during the wedding, helps cut down on a lot of unwanted stress.

#1 You don’t want your guests to stress about where they’ll be sitting and #2 you don’t need them struggling to seat their family of 4 when there’s only seats of 2 or 3 left spread out throughout your wedding venue. If dictating the exact seat your guests sit in isn’t your style, then simply directing them to a table will suffice. It’s perfectly fine for them to determine where at that particular table they’d like to sit. Problem solved.

Who Sits Where?

  • You can either have all parents of the groom, grandparents, and immediate family sit at one table OR alternately have each family “host” their own table. This goes the same for divorced parents as well.
  • Members of the wedding party traditionally sit together. To be courteous, add their +1 to their table as well.
  • Mixing in new faces at a table, particularly solo guests, is a plus.
  • For groups of people that don’t fit at one table, split them up evenly as much as possible. Just don’t forget to leave anyone from that particular group out.
  • No clue what to do with your parents’ friends? Hand that job over to your mom and/or mother-in-law. They’ll be thrilled to help!!
  • Resist the urge to create a “singles” table. Although the intention is good, this may embarrass your guests when they realize what’s really going on.
  • If you have several children at your wedding, seat them together. Only the ring bearer & flower girl? Seat them with their parents.
  • Choosing Long (Banquet) Tables vs. Rounds may require actual place cards and assigned seating to avoid confusion.
  • Serving a plated meal? Don’t forget that you’ll need to include labeled escort cards or place cards (if you’re opting for a escort sign vs cards) to ensure your wait staff knows which entree each guest has selected. So important!

I hope this post helps you dive right into the seating chart a little less stressed. It’s your wedding, you can choose whoever sits where! Have fun with this wedding task. Most guests don’t stay in their seats the entire night anyways so they will be fine. Simply Breathe 🙂

For more wedding advice and tips, be sure to visit our landing page, including how to give the perfect wedding toast!

Tiffany Rivera is a Wedding Planner & Event Planner serving DC, Maryland, Virginia and beyond!

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