Reception Seating: Chart With Confidence

Making the seating chart for the reception can be one of the biggest stresses of wedding planning! Who do you put next to Uncle Ron? Can Karen and Tom even be in the same room together, let alone the same table? Where do you even begin?


Credit: True Photography, via DJ Kanoya

Credit: True Photography, via DJ Kanoya

Here are some tips on how to create the perfect seating chart for your big day.

1. Make it ASAP

Because seating everyone on your guest list can be such a pain, try to create a basic seating chart as soon as you possibly can. Of course, even after your RSVP date you may get some stragglers, but once the date has past, start positioning your reception. You don’t want to be putting the whole thing together the night before your wedding day, but if you have to make a few tweaks here and there right before, that’s ok.

2. Start by Categorizing by Relationship

First make different columns for each relationship, for both the bride and groom; friends, close friends, family, immediate family, coworkers.

3. Draw a Blueprint

There are some helpful websites and apps to create seating charts/blueprints, but for some it’s easier to just draw it out. Make a basic map of each table (circle or square) and where each table will be in the reception space.

4. Place the Head Table First

If you’re having a traditional head table, usually a long rectangle, facing the rest of the guests, it’s easy to place this first. Start with the bride and groom in the middle, Maid of Honor next to the bride, Best Man next to the groom, and then fill in with the rest of the wedding party. (Flower girl/ring bearers usually sit with their parents.) If you’re having a sweet heart table for you and your new hubby, you can still start by placing your wedding party at a table together.


Credit: The Knot

Credit: The Knot

5. Immediate Family

Next, figure out what table your parents will sit at. Typically, the parents of the bride and parents of the groom sit at the same table, but you may choose to seat them with their immediate family members instead. Whatever the case, place them next. Then, start piecing in the rest of your immediate family. You may put siblings that aren’t in the wedding party and grandparent at the same table as your parents, if there’s room.

6. Ease Tensions

Once you’ve placed your immediate family, place your close friends and family. Keep in mind as you do so, if there are any tensions between anyone. Try to keep people who don’t get along away from each other to keep any extra drama out of your day!

7. Make some Matches

If you have a few good friends from high school or college, try to place them together, especially if they already know each other but haven’t caught up in a while. If you have single friends that you think would totally hit it off with your spouse’s single friends or family, play match maker! Try to put people together with similar interests or some things in common so they have an easy time conversing throughout the night. That being said, be sure to have people sit with at least some people they already know. Wedding mingling can be awkward enough, make sure no one has to do it completely alone!

House of Brides