How to Make a Wedding Seating Arrangement Chart

Wedding Seating Chart

Heavenly Hydrangea Seating Chart 18×24 $70 by TypeandLovePaperie

With 17 days to go, I have been thinking about the seating arrangement.  First, I am proponent of having a chair for every person and an assigned seat.  I know that this is not always the case – I have been to a couple of weddings this past year in which seating was more limited and unassigned to encourage mixing & mingling.  I do, however, think that assigned table seating gives guests a place to store their coat or purse, prevents hoarding of seats by those that arrive early, and adds a bit of formality to the wedding.  Over the past week my research has discovered a few seating “rules.”   These include:

  1. The Bride & Groom sit together.  They can opt to do a sweetheart table or sit with their Bridal Party.  I strongly prefer sitting with  the bridal party, but to each their own.  Additionally, I also believe in inviting any of the bridal party’s partners or significant others to sit with us (even if this means we need 2 tables).
  2. Parents sit together.   Here, I have seen the Parents of the Bride and Groom each have their own table to “host” or, in the alternative, they both sit at the same table.  Because our parents live in different parts of the country and have barely met each other (our dad’s will meet for the first time at the wedding!) I plan on sitting our parents together with a few close relatives. 
  3. Children sit together.  If they are old enough to attend school, they are most likely old enough to sit at a children’s table.  Ideally, this table is near the side of the room and close to the restroom – and far away from the cake, where kids might be prompted to help themselves early. 
  4. Be cognizant of disabilities.   If your guests are elderly, perhaps reconsider sitting them directly under the DJ’s speakers.   Similarly, if they have limited mobility, then they may prefer to be close to the bathroom facilities or closer to the entryway.    
  5. Common Interests and Friends.   At this point, there is usually a large group of your parent’s friends, college roommates, coworkers, and classmates that have yet to be seated.  Typically, I advocate to sit guests who know each other together.  I assume that guests will mix and mingle during the dancing and will feel more comfortable sitting with people they know during dinner.  Of course, sometimes this is not possible – there will always be a couple or two who really only know the bride or groom.  At this point, I would sit them near other guests with common interests. 
There are different opinions out there, of course.  The Bitchy Bride has a great post about wanting to sit guests by common interests first, so that people could make new acquaintances.   What do you think? As a guest, do you prefer assigned seating? Do you prefer to sit with those you know?