Ah, the joys of wedding seating charts. From navigating how you’ll handle the bad blood between those two guests from your college days to figuring out where you’ll sit your shy cousin, building your seating chart is probably one of the toughest parts of planning your wedding. But, not to fear, brides and grooms—today, we’ve rounded up our top tips for nailing the ever-elusive art of building a wedding a seating chart.
1. Go Digital
While wedding planning of the past meant busting out a huge poster-board and covering it in Post-Its and clothespins galore, that wasn’t actually useful come the day-of the wedding. One of the biggest tips we can offer, then, is to utilize digital seating chart tools. You will inevitably have a guest who cancels at the last minute or realize, at the eleventh hour, that you’ve accidentally sat your friend next to a guy she can’t stand—these last-minute changes require you have a seating chart that travels well (preferably on a screen in your pocket) and one that you can easily change from anywhere.
2. Never Underestimate the Power of Drag-and-Drop
We love a Post-It party as much as the next stationary fanatic, but, let’s face it, pens and paper aren’t exactly the most forgiving media when it comes to building a wedding seating chart. Anyone who’s built a seating arrangement before knows—it is very much akin to completing a puzzle. There are tons of moving parts and pieces—and it takes more than a few attempts to get right. That’s why we love the power of the digital drag-and-drop feature in Aisle Planner’s Simple Seating tool. It’s as easy as it sounds: you simply drag-and-drop each guest to the appropriate table list, and drag-and-drop guests within a table list to change their seating order at each table.
3. Use Software that Seamlessly Integrates your Guest List
Nothing makes building a wedding seating chart more complicated or tedious than keeping all of the resources you need in different places (an RSVP list in a spreadsheet, physical RSVP cards on your desk, emails from guests about their dietary requirements in your inbox—the list goes on). After all, assigning seating requires knowing who’s RSVP’d, which guests have special dietary requirements. That’s why we love the idea of utilizing software (ahem, like Aisle Planner) that keeps everything from your guestlist to your confirmed RSVPs to special considerations in one easy-to-access place and seamlessly integrates this information as you build your seating chart. Our Simple Seating tool, for example, automatically pulls all of your confirmed guests (as well as those who haven’t yet RSVP'd) into your seating list and organizes each guest by group. It will also call out special guests—like the brides and/or grooms, bridal party, and immediate family members—so you can easily pull these people for a head table or family table. Plus, it includes tools that allow you to add relevant information (high chair requirements at certain tables, dietary restrictions, etc.) to your digital seating chart—ensuring you never miss a beat (or food allergy) as you build that all-important seating arrangement!
Photo courtesy wedding photographer Rebecca Yale