Wedding Etiquette Forum

Seating Charts

How is everybody doing this? I have no clue where to start with this. Is it too awkward to put people in random places with others they don't know?
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Re: Seating Charts

  • monkeysipmonkeysip member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its First Answer
    edited June 2014
    Start by first grouping people together with their families and/or friends. More than likely, you'll end up with uneven tables of 4, 14, etc... and then that's when you have to get creative and start figuring out how to group people together. General rules: 1. Keep all significant others together 2. Seat guests with people they know as much as possible. 3. If a guest doesn't really know anyone else, try to put them with someone who you think they'd get along with 4. Don't overcrowd your tables. It's better to have a table with less than it can hold than have a table where people keep bumping elbows. It can be a pain, but just try your best and keep working it until everyone fits! ETA: I did have paragraphs... but it looks like the knot doesn't like me anymore.

  • I just did my seating chart last night, and it was not nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be. I wrote everyone's names on those little Post-It flags. They come in multiple colors, so we assigned one color to each type of guest - FI's family, my family, FI's coworkers, my coworkers, friends. We laid out the flags on a big piece of posterboard - that helped us a lot with visualizing who knew each other and who didn't. It took us less than 10 minutes to group everyone into tables.

  • Don't randomly place people, put them into categories. Age, common denominators (single/married, kids/no kids/ages of kids, hobbies and interests, line of work, etc.). My Aunt and Uncle from my dad's side of the family won't know anyone else there if my other Aunt doesn't come from out of state but my son's grandparents are open, friendly people who can, and will, talk to anyone. I'd be more likely to place all of them at the same table next to my parents. I also have a few friends coming that won't know anyone other than the other friends, but they won't fill up a table. They're about the same age as my sisters, and they all drink, so that's another table (closest to the alcohol and as far away from younger kids as possible). For people who really won't know another guest, try finding a common lifestyle, hobby, or age group to stick them with...and if you know someone who will strike up a conversation with anyone that's even better, unless the random person/people prefer to keep to themselves. A nice gesture is to let them bring a guest (if single) so they will at least know 1 person there. I'd be more comfortable sitting at a table with complete strangers if I had someone I knew with me. Someone had mentioned in another post about their dad (?) suggesting mixing everyone up and the majority of the responses were NO! You will probably have people who you don't think really fit in with anyone else but if they fit in with one grouping of people who all know each other but that table's already full, split that table into 2 so everyone will potentially feel more comfortable with where they are sitting.
  • Seat people that knows each other. My parents' guests, his parents' guests, his coworkers, my coworkers, his friends, my friends, his family, my family.

    And even then I group people that I know likes each other, for ex: friends from high school, friends from undergraduate, friends from graduate school.
  • I don't have a lot of advice since I haven't done seating charts yet, but I have two experiences I always share when discussing seating charts.

    I went to a wedding with no seating charts, and weird co-workers and high school friends grabbed the table closest to the head table. The parents and other VIPs had to sit towards the back. It was really sad.

    I went to a wedding where they tried to force socialization on strangers, and EVERYONE ignored the seating chart and sat with who they wanted.

    I suggest havign one but grouping people with who they know, and don't split up SO's.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker

  • Agree with PPs. Think about the natural groups that exist on your list - your best friends, his coworkers, your cousins, his aunts and uncles.  That should help with initial groupings and is super easy to do in something like Excel.  Then, start pairing people (with their SOs/guests) in ways that you think would make them comfortable. 

    I would not do random pairings of people with no common interests.  For example, if you both have friends who are hiking fanatics, and it makes sense to seat them together, that would probably work, but it may not be sensible to put Great Aunt Mary at the same table as your least favorite coworker.

    At our wedding, each of our parents "hosted" their own table - they picked the people they wanted to sit with for dinner.  That helped give us a starting point and took some guests off the list of people who needed to be seated. It only took a little while to sort out the rest of the list.

  • Yes, start with the natural groups of people who know each other and go from there. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
  • As I see it, randomly placing people will lead to one of two scenarios: people ignoring your seating chart and sitting where they want, or people paying attention to your seating chart and complaining that they're not with or near anyone they know. Either way, it's going to be awkward for someone. Do what you can to group your guests with friends/family that they know and like.
  • My mom did our side of the family, DHs mom did his side of the family and DH and I each did our friends.   We kept each of the "groups" of tables near each other too.
  • I also recommend that if you have a person or two who is isolated on a different table, try to at least sit that table near someone they know.  I went to a wedding where I was the only one in my family who didn't fit at the table and I was seated way on the other side of this huge venue.  It was mad awkward and not fun. 
  • Like @larrygaga, I have no seating chart experience (and really don't expect to have any after my wedding, either, frankly), but I DO have a suggestion: please, please be mindful of the quality of interactions likely between the groups you place at a table. I was placed at a table once with a guy I did not particularly like, my ex with whom I was currently not on speaking terms, and two of Guy-I-Did-Not-Like's exes, one of which was WITH my ex (he started dating her a full two months after our three-year relationship ended and was the reason I wasn't speaking to him) and the other I did not know well at all. I was so uncomfortable that I did not eat, and managed to end up crying in the bathroom.

    Daisypath Wedding tickers
  • If your tables fit 10 people and you have a group of 12, split them up into 6 and 6, for example, and put them at two tables near each other with some other guests. Don't put 10 at one table and 2 at another, or those 2 will feel left out. 

    Whenever I'm at a wedding the first thing you do when you get your escort card is look at the table number and ask your friends you're talking to what table they're at. So yes, definitely try to put groups together!
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