Wedding Seating Chart 101 – Philadelphia Wedding And Event Planner – Angela MALICKI events


Head table with menu cards


Seating Chart Tips 101

For something that seems quit simple, actually tends to be a very tedious and tricky process. Designing the seating chart is something one should start constructing at the beginning of their wedding planning. I am going to provide you with some tips and tricks to help eliminate stress on the big wedding day! From learning seating cards vs. escort cards to organization ideas your seating chart process will be easy peasy!

Why Create A Seating Chart?

Guests particularly feel more comfortable with pre-arranged seating assignments for sit-down dinners. They want to be able to have somewhere to go to right away and put their stuff down. Having an assigned seat cuts down the confusion for when it is meal time. Also, it shows that you’ve put thought into their interests and who they would be compatable with!


Our client, Alex, created this visual aid for her seating chart.

Our client, Alex, created this visual aide to help organize her seating arrangements. She is getting married at the Lakehouse Inn this Fall!

While planing your seating chart use a visual aid and write names on small post-it notes to be able to physically move them around the seating chart! Using different colors is helpful to distinguish the guests relationship to the bride and groom (Family, Friends, Coworkers, ect.) This can be a great way to manage last minute cancelations as well as making sure there is a blance in the tables to ensure your guests a great reception!

Things to keep in mind:

– Plan for more people: It’s always a safe idea to have a some extra chairs and a table for back up. Some people forget to RSVP, bring their kids, show up with a date – and you want to be able to seat them all!

– Table arrangements: The Bridal table is genereally placed at the head of the dance floor facing the entertianment, arranging your table to be visible to all guests. Following is the bride and groom’s families, who should be the closest to the wedding party. Many perfer to seperate their families with the groom’s family on one side and the bride’s on the other. For the rest of the wedding guests you can try arranging people together with similar interests or backgrounds. Having a variety of coupled and single people as well as newer and older faces helps your guests feel more open and comfortable with each other.

– Floor plan size: Remember to keep the reception location in mind to be able to work around their floor plan. Places can usually provide you with a layout of the room for the reception. The visual aid above is great with experimenting different kinds of arrangements before making any final decisions!

Bridal Table vs. Sweethearts Table:

A Sweetheart Table is a small (usually circular) table for just the bride and groom to sit at during the reception. This table should be the focal point of the reception area facing their guests, with their bridal party and family members at adjacent tables. Couples may prefer this option so that they can spend some alone time together in an intimate setting on their special day. It also gives your wedding party an opportunity to sit with their dates or families.

Sweet heart Table with lace overlay

A Bridal Table (or head table) is designed for a couple who wants to be with their wedding party during the reception. Your head table can be similar to all of the other reception tables or it can be elevated to stand out. The bride and groom are set at the center of the table followed by the groomsman next to the bride and the bridesmaid next to the groom, then it goes every other (boy, girl) the rest of the way.

Head table                                                  Seating Chart vs. Escort Cards:

A Seating Chart is set up at the entrance of the wedding reception area to show each guest which table they will be seated at all on one large chart or diagram. It can either list guests by table or alphabetically by name. Seating charts are great for larger weddings because it is a bigger showcase on which people can locate their name and table. Be cautious that the writing is legible for all guests. You can get really creative with this display by using a chalkboard, window frame, mirrior – the ideas are endless!

Seating Chart 2- chalkboard sign

Escort Cards are generally little cards with the guest’s name and table number printed or written on them. Brides have been coming up with lots of creative ideas then just displaying cards – such as flowers, cute pinwheels, or even mini drinks with the guest’s name and table printed or tied onto the object. Escort cards are fun because they allow your guest to find their table while also recieving a delightful gift with their name on it! These are usually arranged in a inventive manor at the entrance of the wedding reception. A nice bonus about escort cards is that they can be changed up to the last minute while a seating chart may need printed days or weeks in advance.

Escort Cards

In the end, try not to stress about seating arrangements! It’s your fabulous wedding day and guest’s will be mingling while also getting groovey on the dance floor!!

xoxo Kelsey


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