Ready to plan out your wedding seating chart? Before you start, don't forget that you can always go sans assign seats and let guests choose their own. Yep, it's a thing. But if you need to make sure that volatile family members are seated away from each other, want to help your introvert guests find a pal with whom to chat, or want your single friends to meet your other single friends for some hooking up, these wedding seating chart tips are for you.
Pair your seating chart strategy with collecting RSVPs
You can't assign seats if you don't know who's coming, so make sure you have a good RSVP collection strategy up your sleeve.
Here's our archive of RSVP advice to get you started.
Be prepared for last-minute changes
Last-minute RSVPs or cancellations are inevitable. Sketch out your seating chart in an editable form and plan to do some swapping in the 11th hour to move/add/swap guest seats.
Get a copy of your venue's floor plan
If it's available/applicable, get a copy of the floor plan of your venue to plan out how many tables you can fit and where you'll sit in relation to everyone else. You'll also be able to plan for viewing obstructions like pillars and where bathrooms are located.
Decide where you'd like to sit
Would you prefer to sit with your closest friends, family, or at a sweetheart table with just the two of you? Don't be afraid to go less formal here since you want to maximize your comfort level to make sure you're having fun. I recommend sitting facing as many guests as possible so you can take it all in easily.
Try to match up guests with someone they know
As a frequent solo guest at weddings, I know how it can be when you're at a table full of strangers. Try to pair guests up who are familiar with each other or are at least in similar circles. Try to seat couples, family members, friend groups, and work colleagues together and mix in a few solo guests, as long as everyone gets along.
Consider some ice breaker games at the tables
A Mad-Libs activity sheet, quizzes, or card games can be a great way to make sitting with strangers easier. Consider giving tables an activity, especially if you have a large wedding where not everyone knows other guests.
Consider older guests' needs
Where to place older guests or guests with different needs: near bathrooms and near the front to hear speeches.
Where NOT to place older guests: near loud music speakers, near loud children's tables, and right near the dance floor.
Seating children at the wedding
Seat younger kids with their parents or with older siblings. Consider having coloring books and crayons to keep them entertained. Seat older children at their own table if you have enough attending. I'd suggest seating them at the back of the room or somewhere where they can entertain themselves with activities.
Don't stress too much about conflicts
If you do end up with guests who don't get along at the same table, don't stress too much about it. Just remember that most of the time isn't spent at the table anyway, and that most people aren't going to cause a scene. If you're really worried, assign a wedding party member to keep an eye on the group and manage any situations that might occur so you don't have to be preoccupied by it.
More seating chart goodies