As much as your wedding is about you and your significant other saying, "I do," it is also a celebration that honors your friends and family. So making sure they enjoy your big day is very important. And this is where your seating chart plays a major role.
Assigning seats to your guests may seem like an easy thing to do but it can actually prove to be a challenging task especially if you have invited family members who don't get along with other relatives or if your reception venue has an unusual layout.
To help you get started, we reached out to Sandy Hammer, co-founder of AllSeated, an online tool wedding planners use to manage guest lists and create seating charts, to share her top five tips for putting together a great seating plan.
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1. Treat your seating plan like a jigsaw puzzle
"Start with where you will be seated and then build out the rest of your floorplan. Position your bridal party and close friends near where you will be seated. Give a section of the tables to your groom's family and another to your family."
2. Be strategic
"Seat your younger guests near the band rather than the older guests. If you know that you have undesirable tables in your floorplan, place the younger guests at those tables. They will be on the dance floor and not sitting as much as your older guests. The perimeter of the dance floor is great for people watching. This is where you want to seat your older guests! When the party is alive and the dance floor jamming, you want the guests who will be seated most of the night to still feel a part of the action."
3. Get creative with your seating arrangement
"A dozen round tables with assigned numbers isn’t the only way to seat your guests. Try vignette seating that mixes different types of tables to create a variety of unique 'vignettes' in different parts of your reception floor. Replicate the vibe of a chic urban hotspot with lounge-style seating or forego assigned seating altogether and create a cocktail party atmosphere with high tables and stools to encourage mingling. There are so many options!"
4. Mix your families and friends through seating
"While only you know your family dynamic, why not give some thought to blending your families and friends through the seating chart so that they have more of an opportunity to get to know each other. Consider a cousin's table that combines both families. Mix up your friends and put all of the singles together for a good time."
5. Make use of technology
"Do away with using Excel spreadsheets and organize your guest list and seating arrangements using digital apps and tools such as AllSeated or Wedding Mapper. You can filter your guest list into groupings such as bride's family, groom's family, work associates, college friends in order to easily—and quickly—seat your guests in the floorplan."