Solving the Seating Chart Puzzle

Guest Seating

One of the last things you will do before your wedding is to determine your seating chart. It can also be one of the most cumbersome tasks you’ll encounter throughout the planning process. Though this is a time consuming task, there are so many gorgeous, customized ways of displaying your guests’ names through cards, frames, or unique displays. And personally, it is a favorite little detail of mine at any wedding.

Once all of your RSVP’s are received, a good way to start is by grouping your family and friends into tables with all of their favorite people. This will eliminate any confusion from your guests and help ensure your family is sitting close to you and your bridal party.

Your next step is to decide whether you need escort cards or place cards, or both. An escort card tells a guest which table they are sitting; and a place card tells him or her what specific seat they are sitting in as well as their entrée selection. To make this decision, a couple of questions come to mind. First, what type of dinner have you selected, plated or buffet? Second, do you want guests to be assigned to just a table, or a specific seat?

If you have a plated dinner, you need to have a system to tell the catering staff who receives which meal and the best way to accomplish this is through place cards. Ideally, guests selected what entrée they would like when they sent in their RSVP card and that way, you know ahead of time how many of each entrée the caterer would be preparing. When creating your place cards, you can determine a system to note on each place card which type of entrée your guests are going to receive. You’ll then share this system with your caterer to make their service run as smoothly as possible.

If you are having a buffet or station style reception, you may not need place cards. In this case, you simply need to point guests to the correct table and from there they are welcome to determine which seat they want. Though place cards are a beautiful touch to any place setting, not having them eliminates a step for you in the days leading up to the wedding (and can save you a little money, too).

Regardless of your style of meal, you will need escort cards or a seating chart board to direct guests to the correct table. Whether you make individual cards or create a large display is where your creativity and unique style comes in! Choose a design that fits your theme, colors, and most importantly personality. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Here are a couple of examples that I love.


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