Our Favorite Ways to Designate Reserved Seats at the Ceremony

Get creative with the VIP seating at your wedding ceremony.

Reserved Seating Sign

MK Sadler

Not sure how to reserve seats for family members at your wedding ceremony? We've got you covered. Your parents, immediate family members, and grandparents deserve a front row seat to your "I dos," and while it’s always a good idea to appoint ushers to help handle reserved seating, it’s also thoughtful to go the extra step into making a “reserved” row or chair signs. If someone unknowingly sits in a reserved row or seat, it’s a bit awkward for the usher to have to ask him or her to move, but you can avoid this sticky situation altogether by planning ahead and making clear “reserved” seating signs to let other guests know these seats are taken.

And while there are so many cute and clever ways to designate these special ceremony seats, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite ideas to help inspire your own celebration.

Wood "Reserved Sign
Lauren Peele Photography 

Wood “Reserved” Sign

The easiest way to reserve rows of seats during the ceremony is with a sign—this will very clearly signal to other guests that the row is taken. You could opt for something simple, like signs made from heavy card stock and strung with ribbon in your wedding’s color scheme; or, you could choose something unique like these hand-painted wooden signs. Hang them on the chairs positioned along the aisle so they are in plain view for all guests to see.

Caroline Tran

Chalkboard Signs

If you’re planning to reserve specific seats for VIP family members, then appoint each guest’s chair by hanging a hand-lettered chalkboard sign from each seat. It also makes for such a wonderful photo op, don’t you think?

Catherine Leonard Photography

Individual "Reserved" Signs

Alternatively, instead of chalkboard signs, you could print smaller “reserved” signs for VIP family members and tie them to the back of each guest’s chair with twine or thin ribbon.

Jake Thomas Photography

Clip-On Chalkboard Signs

These adorable heart-shaped chalkboard signs are an easy way to assign specific seats at your ceremony—simply write guests’ names and clip them to the back of each chair.

The de Jaureguis

Sprigs of Lavender

If saving specific seats is not necessary at your ceremony, then appoint general reserved seating by placing a simple “reserved” sign on each chair cushion. We love the elegant look of this calligraphed shipping tag—it’s also tied to a little bundle of fresh, fragrant lavender. You can always replace the "reserved" tags with individual name tags if specific seats are of importance.

Jen Huang


In true VIP fashion, you could skip the signs altogether and designate reserved seating by draping long lengths of ribbon across the saved rows.

Garlands of Greenery
Katie Grant Photography

Garlands of Greenery or Flowers

Designate your reserved seating by draping garlands of greenery or flowers over those chairs. They will easily stand out enough to communicate that they are slightly different from the rest while still adding to the overall décor of the aisle and space.

Thank You Note
The Day Collective

Personalized Thank-You Notes

Chances are the guests that these special seats are reserved for also sit very close to your heart. Let them know just how much you cherish your relationship with them by writing each a personalized, heartfelt thank-you note and placing it on their seat for them to read just before you walk down the aisle. Bonus tip: Add a photo of you together or even a photo from their own wedding day to really up the ante.

Embroidered handkerchief
Jennifer Young Studio

Custom Embroidered Handkerchiefs

There are three distinct wedding moments that cause guests to shed the most tears: heart-warming speeches, first or parent-child dances, and just about every aspect of the ceremony. Assign your VIP seats with a thoughtful memento that can also double as a wedding favor. Custom embroider handkerchiefs with your guest's name or initials and the wedding date—even a sentimental message if you'd like—and leave it on their appointed chair to save the seat and catch any happy tears that may come.

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