Reception How to Create a Wedding Reception Seating Chart
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How to Create a Wedding Reception Seating Chart

Your cousin Mark, aunt Shirley, kindergarten teacher and sorority sister have all RSVPd yes to your wedding reception. But where do you seat them?

Creating a wedding reception seating chart is important for several reasons. For one, it’s a kind gesture that let’s guests know that their presence is important to you and that you took the time to figure them into your
wedding planning.

It also helps the wedding coordinator or wedding reception emcee stay on schedule (instead of guests searching and scrambling for available tables, they’ll already know where they’re supposed to sit and the emcee can begin the presentations). Read on for other tips and advice on how to create a wedding reception seating chart.

Stay organized
First things first: start off by documenting RSVPs in an organized filing system. An electronic spreadsheet will keep things neat and orderly in order for you to create the wedding reception seating chart, and it’s easy to for making changes to the document as needed. One basic organization system is to list guests by their relationship to the couple (guest of the bride/guest of the groom), their RSVP status, and their table location. Once all guests are accounted for, you can organize the list by other details (age, dietary needs, etc.) for table configurations.

Arranging of friends and family
It’s common for members of the respected families to sit together. One time saver is to ask your parents to assist with assigning seats/tables to family members and friends of the family. Also, try to mix different groups of friends at tables to get people mingling and interacting with new faces.

Table shapes, sizes place cards
The number of wedding reception tables needed depends on the number of guests you plan to have at your wedding reception. Customarily, guest’s tables are round, but it’s totally a matter of preference. Many couples often have place cards with guest’s names and table numbers at each station. If you’re wedding reception includes a seated meal, tables numbers will help the wait staff tremendously.

Seating at the head table
The standard in arranging the head table is as follows: the happy couple is placed directly in center, immediately flanked by the maid of honor and best man, and the rest of the wedding party seated with groomsmen on one side and bridesmaids on the other. A more modern approach to the head table includes a “sweetheart table” just for the bride and groom to sit alone together, with attendants at a separate table close by. Some couples even do away with the head table altogether, giving the wedding party an opportunity to sit with their significant others.

Backup files
Lastly, remember to keep multiple copies of the final wedding reception seating chart. Whether it’s printing out sheets or saving the electronic spreadsheet to a disc or jump drive, you’ll want to archive the final list, just to be on the safe side. There’s nothing worse than spending hours creating the perfect seating chart only to misplace, or worse, delete it.