The seating chart is one of the most under-appreciated plans that goes into a wedding. Unless they have planned a wedding, your guests don’t realize the struggle of planning seating arrangements for a reception. Making sure everyone has a seat, separating people who may not get along, trying to sit friends together… it’s a lot! Here are some tips to think about when you are putting the seating chart puzzle together!

1. The Head Table should be in the center of the room

This seems like a no-brainer… but it’s still important! Make sure you are front and center so nobody feels too far away from you. After all, it is YOUR big day!

2. Leave room to walk

When laying out the table arrangement don’t forget to leave room for your guests to move around. The standard distance between tables is 60 inches. Also if you have seating against a wall, the standard distance from the table to the wall is 48 inches. Keeping all this in mind will give your guests room to “breathe” and move around freely and comfortably.

3. Ditch the escort cards and go with a seating chart

If you are only assigning guests to a table (and not a specific seat at a table) then why not ditch the escort cards and use a seating chart instead? You can save money on printing plus there are so many cool ways to do a seating chart… just search Pinterest and you will find something that works for your wedding!

4. Table numbers are important

Table numbers or names are always important for the reception. If your dinner is buffet style, numbers are even more important. It’s always a good idea to have your emcee for the evening dismiss individual tables to the buffet. Having all your tables rush the buffet at one time causes lines to be too long! Sending the wedding party to the buffet first followed by individual tables will help reduce the traffic jam at the buffet table.

5. Help out Grandma

I always feel so bad coming to an event, setting up my sound system (which will be fairly loud later during the dancing), and realizing when guests arrive that grandma is at the table right beside my speaker. Sometimes older guests sitting near speakers will come to me and ask me to turn the music down, meanwhile people across the ballroom still need to hear the music. When placing your DJ or entertainment, try to think about the tables seated close by. It’s usually best to sit younger guests close by because music won’t bother them as much!

6. Don’t stress about it

In the end– try not to stress too much about the seating chart. I’ve heard horror stories of couples starting World War 3 fights over the seating chart. The bottom line is this… make sure everyone has a seat and channel your inner Frozen and just let it go (Disney’s Frozen reference sorry.) Your guests will only be sitting down for dinner then they are free to move around, mingle, and dance!