Once all of those RSVP cards come flying into you mailbox, it will be time to check off another task on your wedding planning to-do list: making a seating chart. Planning out who should sit at what table can be quite time consuming, especially since weddings are a giant combination of friends and family members who have never met before.
So before you dive in and start strategizing where your guests will sit so they can be wined and dined at the affair of your lifetime, here are four tips that will make crafting and creating your seating chart a whole lot easier.
1. Assign Tables Not Seats
You might wonder if you should go the extra step and assign people actual seats at your reception, instead of just tables. But unless your caterer is requiring that you give specific seat assignments to every guest, or you're having an ultra-formal wedding, our recommendation is that you make things easier on yourself by just assigning tables. Figuring out the exact spot for each of your guests is a total headache and not worth the stress — unless your caterer or planner says so.
2. Don't Rush the Process
It may be tempting to try and start the seating chart process before you've received any RSVPs, but it's best to wait until you know your final headcount before diving into to this task. That way, you won't have to make any large changes when you find out a group of people aren't coming to the wedding.
3. Try Not to Over Think
Most of your wedding guests will only be hanging around their table to eat dinner and then make their way to the dance floor or the open bar, so don't spend too much time perfecting your seating arrangements.
4. Be Prepared for Last-Minute Changes
You may find a guest here or there throwing you a curveball, saying they are no longer bringing a plus-one or asking if now they can bring a plus-one. If you find a change in the number of guests the week before the wedding, it's best not to stress over putting them at the perfect table and instead just finding them a seat.
Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.