Today we’re tackling one of the most frequently asked questions about planning the wedding reception: are wedding seating charts necessary? This question is usually posed when you’re pretty close to the finish line, right before the final head count is submitted and immediately after you’ve pulled your hair out over wedding seating arrangements.
Seating guests at weddings is tough stuff. It was probably one of my least favorite tasks, and we don’t even have any “drama” or anything in the fam. I just wanted everyone to sit by like-minded individuals who would have something to talk about over dinner. And, you know, have a total blast.
But then you start planning out the tables and writing in one guest’s seat next to another you suddenly have too many people in one family to sit them all together and so-and-so is best suited over here and these two people have nothing in common. By the end of it, you’re half a bottle of wine deep watching re-runs of HGTV to cheer yourself up. Ha!
But it gets better. And the fact you’re here wondering whether you need a wedding seating chart is a good sign because it means you’re putting in the work to build a solid seating chart. Guests really appreciate the extra thought that goes into figuring out just where to seat guests at your wedding. Dinner is not that long and of course, guests don’t have to stay in their seats the entire evening; but plopping whomever at a table together and saying, uh, have fun guys, really limits the opportunity of your guests enjoying really good conversation over dinner and, you know, having an awesome time at your wedding.
via my little midge
If you take the time to position people in well-placed seats, guests will be so much happier. For example, elderly people shouldn’t have an extremely far walk to the buffet, if you can help it, or be seated too close to the sound system / speakers. Parents of little kids will give you a high five if they can make a quick bee-line to the exit should a tantrum erupt mid-speeches; and making sure your grandmother has a front-row seat so she can see you guys kiss while she victoriously clanks her glass with her fork will pretty much make her night!
So, are wedding seating charts necessary? YES. But you know what isn’t totally necessary? All the crazy paperwork involved. Let’s talk about wedding seating charts at your wedding and why wedding seating charts on display, like one of these, is so much easier than cards.
Are wedding seating charts necessary? Do you really need a seating chart?
So, we’ve established that yes, wedding seating charts — putting together where guests sit at which tables — is a necessary task. But what’s the best way to seat guests, as in show them where to sit once they arrive at the reception? Should you use escort cards or place cards?
Escort cards. Place cards. Table cards. Guest book cards. Thank-you-for-coming-to-our-wedding cards. Menu cards. So many cards. At least seating guests at weddings doesn’t have to be this hard! Stop the madness!
I kid, but that’s because I used escort cards at my wedding. I even printed them all, scored each one by hand, added red flower embellishment stickers to each one, and lived to talk about it! When you add it up, the amount of thrown-away paper cards can really be a bit nuts, especially when you do escort cards and place cards and favor cards and table numbers and ceremony programs and… you get the idea. It’s not like I don’t support the idea of escort cards as one functional way to seat guests (I’ll admit that I love ALL of these), it’s just that sometimes there are easier ways to go about things. And wedding seating charts are one of those things.
So, whilst thinking about wedding cards over cups of coffee the other day — total brain food, btw — a lightbulb went on. BOOM. Seating charts.
Seating charts are the new thing, but they’re not brand new to weddings. They just don’t get nearly the credit they deserve. Instead of dozens of escort cards, you can use ONE seating chart. Wedding seating charts are amazing little time savers, especially when you outsource the entire job to a seating chart designer.
After all the response cards (see?! more cards!) come rolling in to your mailbox, you update your spreadsheet, seat everyone at the proper places, and get a final head count, all you need to do is send the list to one of a seating chart designer and you’re done.
Your wedding seating chart is made, shipped, and sent straight to your doorstep, beautifully written and masterfully put together, needing only an easel (like this) to be displayed at the entryway to your reception. No card table needing to be set up. No hand-writing, hand-printing, or hand-scoring each escort card. There is no confusion if/when one card goes missing because it fell behind the table, or it was alphabetized erroneously.
And that, m’loves, is why a seating chart is the ONLY thing you need to seat guests at your wedding.
Okay, great, but now where do I find one?
We’ve curated this list of beautiful wedding seating charts to give you some ideas. You could make your own, if you’d like; just remember it is best to:
- arrange guests in alphabetical order, rather than by table (it’s must faster for a guest to find his or her name this way)
- place the seating chart in a frame and atop a sturdy easel at the entry way of your reception
- ALWAYS double-check and triple-check the seating chart against your guest list to look for any errors
And you don’t have to use just one giant chart; you can frame individual charts, like this, if you only have room on a tabletop.
Or fasten them to string with clothespins across a board like this:
Here’s an example:
On to the list!
Where to Buy Wedding Seating Charts
Here are some of our favorite wedding seating charts you can buy online. If you like a certain style, just click on the photo or the link below it to find out more. Chances are, the shop with that particular design has many more like it. (All designs are customizable, btw. Many of these wedding seating charts are printables, so you can edit and print them yourself.)
via my little midge
via paper bound love
via lil shabby shack
What do you think of these wedding seating charts?
Okay, get to it: comment below and tell us if you like these seating charts / if you don’t like them / if you have any other questions or suggestions or whatever. Don’t by shy. And if you’re seriously short on time, just use an emoji to show your reaction! ;)