How to….make a seating chart:

We are starting a How To series (don’t worry no how to lose a guy in 10 days happening here!) So first up……How to Make a Seating Chart! We are noticing a huge trend in a more formal reception with a sit down dinner. While we love this trend, there is alot of work involved and done incorrectly can lead to big problems the day of the wedding.


So here are some steps to take to create a perfect seating chart with ease!

  1. Decide if there will be an entree choice, and include that information on your RSVP card. You will need to decide if you want to serve the same entree to all guests, or provide them a choice. If you give them a choice of beef, chicken, or fish, you will need to indicate this on the RSVP card for them to complete. You can track these responses in an excel or google docs spreadsheet. Our online management systems allows our clients to track in there and then provides several different lists in different formats. This is very helpful in working with our clients.
  2. Make the actual seating chart. Look, I am not going to lie…grab a glass of wine. This is a PRO-ject. You have a couple choices here. We offer an online option, which you can find several thanks to the google machine. You can upload your guest list, build your tables and chairs, and drag and drop your guests where you want them to go. You can give the log in to your fiance, mom, wedding planner and/or future mother in law so you can get some help. Another option is a good ole fashioned pen and paper. I am a fan of this just being a pen and paper person but being your wedding planner I like the online option. If using paper, get a great big piece of poster board or art paper. Draw out your tables, don’t worry about the to scale part. Use a few colors of sticky notes to write your guests names on: pink for your guests, blue for his, green for work people, and yellow for friends. Be sure to keep your table numbers consistent across any lists you are using/making. If you have a meal choice, use a code next to the person’s name to indicate their meal choice. Your chef will need this for dinner service.
  3. Seating Chart listing, escort cards and place cards?! So there are a few ways to indicate to guests where to sit. Depends on how specific you want to be with your guests. I find giving more direction is better then less. A big trend is to use a large seating chart, with guests names listed alphabetically and the table number. Be sure the sign is large enough it can be read. You can then either let guests choose their seat at the table or provide a place card for their seat. Escort cards work similarly. Escort cards are like a place card but are displayed with the guest’s name and table number. Again you can either let the guest choose their seat when they get to their table or provide a place card at their seat. If you use escort cards and/or place cards, you can also use a code to indicate the meal choice of the guests for the servers.
  4. Help your planner out. As best you can, try not to make changes to your seating chart the week of the wedding. This will give us time to be familiar with the chart. Also, provide an alphabetical listing with guests name and table number. Often guests ask us questions about where things are, where to sit, etc. This helps give us a quick reference to help your guests find their seats easily. If you are using escort cards, alphabetize them, and organizing place cards by table. Even if you don’t have a planner, someone will need to put these out and this will make that process much smoother.

There are many details that go into having a seated dinner but we hope this checklist helps you navigate them!


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