So, seating charts are cute and all..
but we hate them.
As a wedding vendor, we hate seating charts. Not in a way that we'll tear them down when we see them, or refuse to serve a wedding when they're there, but they add sooo much stress and work to the bride, and they don't really serve any legitimate purpose.
In a perfect world, you would spend hours creating this list; a small price to pay for some organization and ensuring everyone can sit by people they know. Then, every guest will sit at their designated seat, have a great time, and everything will be fine!
However, in our world, you spend hours creating this list and chart, and everybody follows it--for five minutes. Then, they move their chairs to the friend across the room (that you didn't know they knew), now, that table has 9 chairs, 8 place settings, and the other table has 7 chairs, 8 place settings. Then, when you multiply this by several instances over 100+ people, you have a mess, and you're stressed. People that move don't have place settings, things get mixed up, and all for nothing.
The room is always different than you'd think before. It is never the same. The dynamic, energy, and feel is always unimaginable. When you try to plan it ahead of time, you remove peoples' ability to adapt and choose their optimal spot. Instead, if you can allow everyone to figure it out themselves, they'll decide where the optimal spot is for them. This way, grandma won't be seated in front of the speakers, and the struggling former-alcoholic won't be seated next to the bar.
Not only do seating charts not work like they always should, but they are a TON of work, and unnecessary work if it will go unnoticed.
Now, if you absolutely love the idea of a chart, we have some thoughts for you. Being engaged ourselves and planning our own wedding has allowed us to really rethink some things we don't love and reengineer the whole wedding-planning experience. So, what will we do?
Well! Most of our guest list its from a ton of different micro-circles: clients, family, friends-of-family, distant family, friends at home improvement stores (seriously), co-workers, employees, and wedding-industry friends. What's even stranger, is that some people in these circles don't exactly know each other, but have something in common. Our clients don't know each other, but we know them all for the same reason. We have friends from different home improvement stores (again, seriously),and while they don't know each other, we know them for the same reason, so they'll have something in common.
So, instead of making a traditional seating chart, I believe it is more likely that we will organize our chart according to how we know them. So, we'll have family tables, wedding vendor tables, home improvement table, and client tables. This way, they will look at the chart, mutually recognize how we know them, and sit at that table. Then, they will have at least one thing in common with everyone at that table. This strategy works pretty well if you have smaller circles, and not a large group of random friends.
If you do have a large group of random friends, strongly consider forgoing the seating chart and just allowing them to do their thing. Just have some reserved tables for family, and let everyone else go at it!
Now, if you are dead-set on having the traditional seating chart, go for it. Just be sure to set your expectations and be prepared for your guests to ignore it!
All-in-all, have fun, and be married!
What Our Clients Are Saying
"We seriously could not have had a better time for our wedding. As I was stressed out about the music, they made sure I, as the bride, felt calm. Everyone had the best time dancing and singing! Thank you all so much for making mine and C.J.'s wedding night memorable" - S.J.