Importance of a Seating Chart


Adam and Jessica’s ceremony is over.  Guests are directed to have cocktails before dinner.  Servers are passing appetizers and serving drinks.

One guest asks a server: “Where do we sit?”

Server’s answer: “Anywhere you like.  There are no assigned seats.”

Guest: “My 6 friends and I, want to sit at the same table.  Can you find us a table for 7?”

Server’s answer: “Sure”

After a few minutes of searching the server returned to the guest.

Server: “I’m sorry I did not find a table with 7 open chairs.  I did find one table with 3 open chairs and this table has 4 open chairs. “

Guest: “Move the people at this table to the other table.  Then my friends and I can be together. “

Server: “Once a guest has chosen their seat we do not move them.”

Guest: “Where is the wedding planner?”

Server: “That would be the bride.”

Guest: “I will be right back with Jessica and we will get this resolved.”

The server continued passing appetizers.  More guests are arriving and all are asking, “Where do we sit?”  Meanwhile, the guest wanting to sit with her friends has interrupted the wedding party photo session to speak to the bride.  Jessica has not eaten all day and is very tired.  She wants to sit down, take her shoes off and eat a few appetizers.  As the guest explains the seating situation, Jessica says, “Sit wherever you want.”

The guest and her six friends pull 3 chairs from other tables up to the table with 4 open chairs.  A total of 11 people are now crowded at one table.

This situation is avoidable.  Seating charts are essential for wedding receptions and dinner parties.  An easy way to begin is, use one Post-It note per guest.  As each RSVP arrives, position the Post-It on a board or in a notebook.  Each page in the notebook represents one table.  The seating chart is not finalized until all RSVPs have been received and tweaks have been made.

There are many ways to display the finalized seating chart such as

  • Place cards with each guests name and table number
  • Each table has a framed list of guests that are to be seated at that table
  • One large display listing each guest and the table number

See options on our Pinterest “Wedding” board.

And lastly, always allow for unexpected guests.

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