Rhode Island Wedding Guide
Belle Mer, Newport, RI
Stress Free Seating Charts

One of the biggest headaches for some brides is putting together the seating chart for the wedding reception.  When putting together the seating chart, there are many things to take into consideration like the type of reception, how the head table or tables will be set up and the relationships of guests to each other. 

To make the process as pain free as possible, follow these general rules:

  • Before you set up any seating, go through your list of invited guests and check that everyone has responded. If you're missing response cards, get on the phone to ensure that everyone who plans on attending, but maybe didn't respond, ends up with a seat.
  • Don't wait until the last minute to put the seating chart together. Begin to lay out tables and seats at least two weeks prior to the wedding. This gives you enough time to rearrange guests if needed.
  • Determine if you want open seating or assigned seating. Open seating leaves it up to each guest to find their own table and seat. Open seating works well for informal or cocktail party type weddings where not everyone will be seated at the same time and when there are a small number of guests. Assigned seating can be done in one of two ways. You can assign a number of guests to one table, usually 8 to 10, and guests can sit wherever they like, or you can assign guests to a table and then a specific seat at that table. Use a diagram of the venue to number or name tables and add guests to each table. Then, prepare seating place cards to correspond with the table assignments.  Either type of assigned seating ensures that all guests will have a place to sit and eat.
  • When assigning tables or seats, the closest family and friends should sit nearest to the bride and groom. Sit families with their small children, work friends together, people of the same age group like teenagers or the elderly together, and sit people who know each other together. To make things more interesting, mix the friends of both the bride and groom at one table. Also, when assigning seats, don't sit divorced couples together or feuding family members near each other.
  • Decide what type, if any, head table or bride’s table you will have and who will sit where. Traditionally, there is a long table with the bride and groom and their wedding party seated together. Some couples may prefer to sit at a table with both their parents and bridal party while some prefer to sit at their own private sweetheart table leaving their parents and bridal party to be mixed in amongst the other guests. There can also be a head table consisting of both the bride and groom's parents and immediate families or there can be a number of head tables with the bride and groom's parents each sitting at their own individual tables with their immediate families. This works out especially well for divorced parents.
  • If you're paying for dinner for wedding professionals like photographers, videographers, or others who will be working during your entire reception, make assigned seating available to them as well.
wedding placecards

When planning a wedding, there are many reasons to stress out.  Creating the seating chart shouldn’t be one of them! Get input from the mothers of the bride and groom, leave plenty of time to make changes and follow these simple tips and seating guests will be simple and hassle free.

Share |
RI wedding enewsletter
More tips on seating your wedding guests at the reception

Unique RI Venues
Rustic Weddings
8 Forgetten Items
Candy Buffets
Receptions Cocktails
More Reception Trends >

Unique Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Programs
10 Decor Ideas
Memorial Accessories
Rustic Accessories
More Ceremony Trends >

Get Inspired:
Flower & Decor Trends
Engagement Locations
5 Wedding Symbols
Wedding Colors
More Inspiration >

More Trends:
Poses & Photos We Love
Memorable, Inexpensive Ideas
Wedding Styles
More Trends >

Wedding Rumors