The advice below works for any number of guests and tables but we’ve used the floor plan shown in point #3 as a guideline in order the explain different situations to you.
• Don’t start the seating plan until all your guests have replied. It takes long enough and you don’t want to keep going back to it.
• Working with a seating plan on your computer in a Word document makes it easier to change names, numbers and tables around.
• Other than the 1 or 2 parent tables, having reserved seats isn’t necessary. It’s just extra work for you and your guests will end up moving place cards around anyway.
• While famous couples, places and phrases may have meaning, table numbers are easier to read from across a large room.
Also, there is a recognizable order to numbers, where there is none with words. We have heard many guests complain at weddings when trying to figure out where the heck table “Romeo & Juliet” is located.
• Keep in mind that the more tables you use the more: centrepieces, rented table clothes, accessories, etc, you need.
• Put younger guests closest to the speakers. Example below: Table 1
• If your speeches are between courses, be sure that your DJ eats at the DJ booth/table.
• The best seats in the house go to the parents. Example below: Tables 2 & 3
• Seat vendors at a table by themselves at the back of the room. Example below: Table 15
• If you’re standing at the back of the dining room looking at the head table, the bride and her family sit on the left-hand side of the room and the groom and his side on the right.
Okay, all your guests have replied and you’re ready to find seats for everyone.
1. Get a floor plan with room dimensions from your venue. No use placing 4 circles in front of the head table when only 3 tables fit.
2. Figure out approximately how many tables you will need. You might seat 10 of your friends at one table and a family of 7 at another. This can be adjusted as you go along
3. After placing tables where you want them, start numbering them in the order that you prefer.
4. LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLLLLLL! Time to ask parents where to seat relatives and which ones can and can’t sit close to others. They’ll also want great seats for their friends. After all, your 20-something friends can see a lot better from the back of the room then their 50-something’s can. Good luck! Really, all the best.
5. It’s a lot easier to type names in a table or in rows then in circles.
Put the number of guests at each table in brackets for quick reference. You can also label the groups. Notice that
6. I’ve put the young cousins at Table 1, close to the speakers
7. Add symbols or abbreviations beside the guests’ names that require special meals. Example: v=veggie, c=child’s meal. Just let your catering manager know what these letters, colours or abbreviations represent.
Table 1 (8)
Table 2 (9)
Rev. Thomas Gordon
Mrs. Jamie Gordon
Table 3 (9)
Mr. John Wilson
Mrs. Kay Wilson
Table 4 (7)
(3 half siblings)
Table 5 (10)
Table 6 (10)
Table 7 (10)
Table 8 (10)
And so on until every name is on your chart.
8. Once you’re happy with the whom and where, it’s time for to write out the place cards. Hand-write the names the same as you addressed the invitations. FB advice-There are a lot of nice scripts on computers, so if you want to print them out we won’t tell.
9. If you are using a seating chart that you will display at your venue, please use large, easy to read script (nothing fancy) and list the names alphabetically w/last names first. You’ll probably have over 100 names on this chart, so keep it simple. Example:
Thompson, William………….Table 9
Tillis, Charles and Judy……..Table 11
Williams, Mary and Guest……Table 9 (Emily Post would freak but if ya don’t know…ya don’t know)
Wilson, John and Kay………..Table 3
Wong, Richard………………..Table 7
Wong, Tom and Sue…………Table