How to Assign Wedding Seats

Want to assign wedding seats at your reception? Here’s how to do it! You’ll find out how to assign wedding seats, why assigned seats is important, who to ask for guidance, whether names should be arranged alphabetically or by table, and more! Plus, we’ve teamed up with The Seating Chart Boutique to offer one lucky reader a FREE custom wedding seating chart (a $150 value!) this week only. It’s all inside…

How to Assign Wedding Seats in 4 Easy Steps (photo by melissa robotti, chart by the seating chart boutique)

photo by melissa robotti, seating chart by the seating chart boutique

How to Assign Wedding Seats

Before we show you how to assign wedding seats, let’s talk about why it’s important to do. When a guest attends your wedding, they want to feel welcomed. By having an assigned seat carefully selected for him or her, they feel welcomed; they know you appreciate their presence. When bride-to-be, Melanie, attended an “open seating” reception, she and her plus one had to sit at separate tables because there were no two seats left together. Stacy told us about a wedding she attended for a co-worker. She ended up at an unofficial ‘all singles’ table because there wasn’t an open seat next to her colleagues. When guests are seated at a table with other people they know – or with whom they have things in common – they’ll be more comfortable, they’ll have more fun, and they’re likely to stay at your wedding for a longer period of time. (All awesome reasons to assign wedding seats.)

Don’t Stress.

Now, there’s no guarantee that every wedding chart is perfect. Just do your best! Guests can (and will!) mingle at other tables throughout the night. Your seating chart is mostly utilized for speeches and dinner. Therefore, don’t stress over it too much.

Here are four easy steps for how to assign wedding seats:

1. Assign seats with paper plates!

YES – paper plates! Grab a pack of paper plates and write each table in the center. Write guests’ names on these. Then, start “assigning” guests at each table. These color-coded stickers are removable, so you can assign wedding seats (and change seats) in an instant. Arrange your plates on the floor and use placeholders to see where the DJ, buffet tables, and head tables will go. Take a photo. Record your completed assigned tables on your computer or in a notebook for later.

2. Ask your Mom.

Once you’ve completed your assigned seats, ask Mom, Dad, and your in-laws for seating chart guidance, particularly if you get stuck. They may know things you don’t, like not to seat so-and-so next to so-and-so or cousin Sybil may have lots to chat about with cousin Edith. Plus, they’ll have suggestions for open seats and who would fit in best. Parents always know everything!

3. Use escort cards or a seating chart to display table assignments.

Escort cards are folded tent cards which tell guests where to be seated. A seating chart is a large display that has guests’ names written next to their table number and arranged alphabetically. Your table display – whether you use escort cards or a seating chart – should be placed near the entrance of your reception.

4. Make sure your tables are clearly labeled.

Use table names (or table numbers) to identify each table. If you’re using table names, be sure to include a small number, too, so guests can find it easily. (Need table name ideas?)

Assign Wedding Seats with Professional Seating Charts

A professionally-designed wedding seating chart is a fantastic way to show guests where to be seated! Christine of The Seating Chart Boutique creates some of the most beautiful wedding seating charts we’ve ever seen. You can find a seating chart to tie into your theme or any wedding decor, thanks to her many of color and style options available. This first example is called “Sweeping Elegance”, one of the newest in her 2013 collection.

How to Assign Wedding Seats - Seating Chart by The Seating Chart Boutique

Also from her collection are Gingham, Moroccan, and Luxe, in that order, all new for 2013.

How to Assign Wedding Seats - Seating Chart by The Seating Chart BoutiqueHow to Assign Wedding Seats - Seating Chart by The Seating Chart BoutiqueHow to Assign Wedding Seats - Seating Chart by The Seating Chart Boutique

How to Assign Wedding Seats – Do’s and Dont’s

o DO allow guests to pick the seat at his or her table

Unless, of course, you want guests to sit at particular seats. If so, you’ll need place cards, too.

o DO assign closest family members to tables near the head table.

o DON’T arrange names by table.

Arrange guests alphabetically rather than by table. It is easier (and faster!) for a guest to find his or her name.

o DON’T seat singles at one table.


Want to win a FREE wedding seating chart beautifully designed for your big day? This week, you can thanks to Christine of The Seating Chart Boutique! Enter now for your chance to win using the entry form below.

Giveaway Dates: 7.15-7.21.13 (11:59pm EST)

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Happy Planning!


Now it’s your turn: will you assign wedding seats at your reception? Why or why not?

This post may contain affiliate and/or sponsorship links. See our disclosure page for details.
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42 Comments on "How to Assign Wedding Seats"

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Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
July 21, 2013 8:55 pm

The floral one is cute

Leah Warner
July 21, 2013 1:49 pm

I love the vintage floral seating chart!! Would look great in my venue!

July 20, 2013 7:28 pm

I love the Delicate Damask Seating Chart!

Ashley Robbins
July 20, 2013 11:27 am

This is a great giveaway! Thank you so much for the opportunity!

July 19, 2013 7:39 pm

I like the branch

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