Now that you’ve navigated the guest list and invitations have gone out, you’ve got to start tracking who is actually attending. Once you know who will be in attendance, you’ve got to figure out where everyone is sitting. And you thought the guest list was hard enough! Follow these simple tips to help you navigate the process.


Start as soon as you have RSVPs

Assigning seats is a tedious process so make sure you start early, because it will likely change a few times before it is final. Once RSVPs start to roll in and you start getting a good idea of who is and isn’t coming by word of mouth, it’s a good idea to get started. Yes, things may change as RSVPs continue to come in but at least you’ll have a head start.


Get input, but not too much

You’ll want your fiancé’s help and it is sometimes also helpful to get input from both sets of parents. But beyond that, we wouldn’t recommend getting any other input. There is a such thing as too many cooks in the kitchen!


Start in groups, then section out

Start by making groups. Bride’s mom’s family, bride’s dad’s family, groom’s work friend, bride’s college friends, etc. Likely, these are the people you will want to keep together at tables as much as possible. From there, section out the groups. If there are 16 people on the college friends list, then separate it to two tables of 8. It won’t always be that simple, but you get the idea!


Will you do seat and table assignments?

Then, you have to decide whether you will do just assigned tables, which is most common, or go as far to do actual assigned seats at the table. The latter is almost always used for head tables and often done for plated dinners. Sometimes, if there are some tricky family situations people will choose to do assigned seats, so they can control who will be sitting next to one another and who they want to avoid putting near one another. 


Decide seating chart or escort cards

Once you have the tables set, decide how you are going to let your guests know where to sit. 

You can do that by using either a seating chart or individual escort cards. A chart is most common, unless you are having a plated meal where guests chose their entrée. In that case, you will need escort cards (or place cards), so you caterer knows what meal the guest ordered. 


Display it loud and proud

Once you’ve decided on a chart or cards, now you have to decide how to display! If you do a seating chart, will it be by table number or by last name? Will it all be on one big poster or will you have it handwritten onto a window pane for a vintage touch? Need some more idea? Check out our seating assignment inspiration guide!


Not sure where to begin with the final details? Consider hiring a planner to help you sort this out. Click HERE to find our vetted options!


Photo Credit: Easterday Creative