Planning the seating chart for your wedding reception is like doing one giant puzzle. You have to figure out exactly where each person fits into the bigger picture. And once you dive in, placing your cousins at one table, your college friends at another, you’ll realize it’s a LOT trickier than it sounds. But even though you may feel like throwing in the towel when you have two remaining people and NOWHERE to put them, a seating chart is absolutely worth doing (and doing right). Trust us, by the time the big day finally rolls around, you’ll be SO happy you did. Here are four reasons why you should definitely take the time to give everyone a seat.
1. It speeds up the seating process.
If nobody knows where to sit, they’ll end up wandering around the reception space deciding which table they like best. People will want to coordinate: “Oh, Uncle Steve is sitting over there; let’s all go join him!” Give your guests free range, and you may have people wandering until the salad course ends. Why waste time on getting people seated when there is DANCING to do? There will be no lollygagging if everyone has a designated seat.
2. It makes it easy for dates to sit together.
Your cousin is bringing his latest love interest — and nobody knows her. Imagine if she was forced to sit all alone because the cousin table was full? If you skip a seating chart and the pair can’t find seats that are side-by-side, that might be the case. Then, left to their own devices, the duo might decide to “harmlessly” move a chair from one table to another without telling anyone working the wedding. That could end up throwing a big wrench in the catering staff’s plans and someone may not get their food when everyone else does. Overall, it’s just easier if you plan an arrangement in advance and figure out how everyone can sit beside their +1.
3. Your can control who sits with you (without any unnecessary awkwardness).
Your parents, siblings, will likely be busy greeting your guests and catching up with old friends before they get a chance to find a seat. Without a reserved table for your nearest and dearest, you may end up sitting with your partner’s aunt who just can’t get enough of you (but you can’t stand her). This is YOUR big day, so make sure your favorites are the ones sitting with you during dinner. The last thing you want is for your bestie to end up in the back corner where you can’t even see her. That would definitely be a bummer.
4. You can keep the peace and cater to everyone’s needs.
As a gracious host, you’ll want to accommodate all your guests’ special requests. If Grandma is in a wheelchair, you can make sure she doesn’t need to maneuver between tables by putting her at an easy-to-access table by the reception room’s entrance. If your mom already has trouble hearing, you can ensure she’s sitting far away from the band AND the speakers. With a seating chart, you can separate your rowdy college friends from your more buttoned-up relatives or seat people who don’t get along — like ex-spouses, for example — or those who don’t mesh well on opposite sides of the room. Eliminate any potential drama before it even has a chance to begin with a simple seating arrangement. It may be challenging, but when you’re in the swing of things on your big day, you’ll be REAL glad you spent the time putting the tricky puzzle together!