Looking at your wedding seating plan can feel like perusing the blueprints of a spaceship. Every move seemingly has the potential to ruin the stability you’ve so painstakingly created. Contrary to popular belief, preparing a seating plan doesn’t have to be rocket science. With the right strategies, you and your planning committee can organize the ideal seating chart for you and your guests. Here’s everything you need to know:
1. Double-check on the venue’s capacity.
Before you spend any time on seat assignments, check again with the venue to make sure it has the capacity to seat your entire guest list. You’d hate to make some headway only to be forced to start from scratch because of a minor miscalculation. All it takes is one slight mathematical error to have your whole plan come crumbling down.
2. Ask for the floor plans.
You can’t get hours upon hours of access to your venue to visualize where guests will sit and how the space will function. The next best thing is getting floor plans for the space that provide handy details for seating plans such as bathroom locations, electric outlet installations, and dimensions. With this accurate information, you can rest assured your plans will translate smoothly into real life.
3. Ask about different seating arrangements.
Venues commonly used for weddings often have at least a few standard seating arrangements available for wedding parties. These optional presentations are a great place to start when brainstorming the best layouts for your special day. Besides, you might even find one that works perfectly for your needs, saving you a lot of time and headaches!
4. Don’t wait for all the RSVPs
It seems counterintuitive to kickstart the planning process before receiving RSVPs from invitees. But, let’s face it. Some people are notoriously slow in responding (you know exactly who we’re talking about). Waiting until every single guest has confirmed can put you in a tough position as your wedding day inches closer. Instead of putting your sanity at the whim of RSVP punctuality, start with a preliminary seating plan. You can always make small adjustments as you find out who is definitely coming.
5. Seat the newlyweds first.
The newlyweds (that’s you!) should always have priority in the seating plan. Everything else is planned around your needs and wants. After all, it is your wedding. Some couples prefer to sit alone at a sweetheart table while others opt for a large wedding party setup. Think carefully about what’s best for you and your loved one and build a seating plan around that.
6. Don’t be afraid to mix people up.
It’s tempting to throw everybody into familiar circles when choosing seating arrangements. But when your guest list is divided into family groups, people are less likely to mingle. Of course, the opposite isn’t any better since sitting everyone next to strangers could be awkward. The key is to strike a balance between the two extremes to make people feel comfortable while still encouraging some healthy interaction.
7. Assign tables instead of seats.
Traditionally speaking, weddings have predetermined seating arrangements for every guest. However, if you’re open to giving guests a little leeway, you can assign tables instead of individual seats. Your guests will love the ability to choose, and you’ll have less to worry about! This strategy works better for small to medium-sized weddings but not so much for large receptions. The more guests you have, the more confusing it can become. You don’t want a giant game of musical chairs every time people get up.
8. Work with an experienced wedding planner.
You might know your guests well, but creating a seating arrangement for your big day is a difficult job. Hiring a talented and experienced wedding planner can make the process much smoother and quicker. You’ll have less to stress about and can place your focus on more important aspects of your wedding. Not sure where to find the perfect wedding planner for your special day? Consider attending a wedding show! You’ll have a chance to speak with several talented planners to find the best one for the job.
No matter where you’re at in the planning process, you owe it to your future self to attend the upcoming Portland Bridal Show. This annual event is a must for all brides-to-be. You’ll have the opportunity to meet with some of the best vendors in the entire region to find the best team to pull off your special day. Whether you need an organizer, designer, caterer, florist, or any other wedding professional, you’ll find it here! Plus, with fun games, delicious tastings, and endless excitement, there’s no shortage of enjoyable things to do. Attending is easy! Simply register your wedding here to claim your ‘early release’ discount tickets along with other exclusive offers.