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Managing your seating chart

With all you have to plan for your wedding, is a seating chart necessary? Can’t the guests sit wherever they like? If they can do that at the ceremony with no problem, why not the reception?

If your reception will feature cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres, there is no need for a seating chart. You can even skip it if you’re having food stations rather than a formal sit-down dinner.  But for a typical reception dinner, you’ll need a seating chart for two main reasons.

The first is to honor your family. Your closest friends will likely be at the head table with you. Your family, that is parents and grandparents, should have the best view of the newlyweds.  If there are family members who are divorced who will not be able to act nice once alcohol is introduced, separate them by a few tables, making sure they are equally close to you.

The second reason is to take into account where people might like to be. Never sit grandma near an amplifier. Your college buddies might like to be close to the bar.  Decide if singles would like to be at a table together or if seating them next to your friendliest relatives is a better idea to help them fir in and not feel like it’s the first day at a new school.

Having a sweetheart table for you and your new spouse is a wonderful way to allow your attendants to sit with their significant other.

When you make your guest list, put everyone’s name onto a small sticky note and create a diagram of the reception area with the tables where they will be. Contact the venue to find out how many guests each table seats.  You can either make a preliminary seating chart with all the guests and then rearrange it shortly before your wedding day so that you don’t have a huge task waiting for you at the last minute, or you can add the sticky notes to the chart as the RSVPs come in. If someone has a special need (wheelchair, highchair, food allergy, etc.) add that to the note so that you don’t forget and so you can alert the venue.

There are so many creative ways to display the place cards as guests enter the reception. This is an excellent way to bring in a theme. You can write names on small, sturdy leaves or on small rounds of a tree branch if you love the outdoors, write names on shells if you’re beach enthusiasts, or set them in a tray of coffee beans if your first date was at Starbucks. You might like to add lace or burlap to the side of the card, dip a portion of the card in glitter or dip dye it. You attach them to the sticks of cake pops, or pin them onto a wrapped piece of fancy chocolate or into a slit cut into a wine cork. Of, if you’d prefer not to work so hard, display the seating chart on an easel.

Choose something that fits your personality and your theme and have fun with it.

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