Thursday, June 25, 2009
How To Plan a Wedding Reception Seating Chart
Planning the seating chart for a wedding reception can be time consuming and stressful. Reduce the stress by following this simple plan.
Follow the steps outlined below to plan the seating chart for a wedding reception.
Map out the room on a piece of poster board. Make sure to note the band or DJ, cake table, restrooms, dance floor, entrances/exits, and buffet table if applicable. Draw each table and the amount of seats that accompany each table. Talk to the event coordinator at the reception site and ask him/her how many people each table can sit comfortably.
Decide whether the guests will be assigned to a table or a specific seat. A couple can specify that guests sit at a certain table number, and the guests can seat themselves where they choose to sit at that specific table. Or the couple can put place cards at each seat.
Give each table a name or number. Some couples prefer to number the tables while some prefer to give each table a name that is personal to their relationship. For example, a couple that loves to travel may name each table a place that they have been together (Paris, Rome, Florida Keys, Wisconsin).
Retrieve the pile of RSVPs and sort them, so all the “yes” responses are together. If there are some missing and it is past the date listed on the RSVP, then call those people and let them know that a final count is needed.
Count all the people that will be attending the event and make sure that there are enough seats available in the seating chart that you made above. If there aren’t enough seats, then another table may have to be added. If there are too many seats, then add more space in places that might be congested by decreasing the amount of tables in that area. Consult the wedding coordinator for help.
Begin to sort the guests using the RSVP cards to get a rough estimate of who should sit together. For example, if the reception area can hold ten tables of eight, one would separate the RSVP cards into ten piles of eight. Couples should work together on this to make it easier.
Once the RSVP cards have been sorted into the right amount of people per table, check each pile for elderly, small children, pregnant women, and anyone with a disability. Place those people at the top of the pile, so they can be given priority seating near the front and close to the bathrooms.
Also, place family and close friends at the top of each pile, because they should be given priority.
Figure out how many children will be attending the wedding reception. Are there enough to have a children’s table? If the children are under the age of seven, they should probably sit with their parents.
Place each pile of guests on a table on the seating chart composed on the poster board. Arrange them until each pile is on a table.
Using a pencil (in case of last minute changes) print the name of each guest at his/her seat on the poster board. If assigning guests to tables and not seats, write their names inside the table.
A few more tips:
Go over the seating chart and layout of the room multiple times with the wedding coordinator before the wedding, so he/she can give advice and make comments. Give the wedding coordinator the seating chart the day before the wedding, so he/she can make sure the room is set up in the right order.
If there will be place cards, put them in alphabetical order before handing them over to the wedding coordinator. It will help him/her easily find the names when putting out the place cards on the day of the wedding.
Posted by April Bowles