One of the more challenging tasks during wedding planning is to decide where your guests will sit. This can be avoided if you allow guests to sit anywhere, but most couples like to have arranged seating to allow parents and family members to be closer to the bride and groom. Once you have your reception venue and know how the tables will be arranged, your next step is to decide who will sit at each table. This takes an exercise in compromise on both the future bride and groom, as not everyone can have the best seat in the house.
Compile a list of every guest who has RSVPed yes to your wedding.
On a piece of paper, draw out how the tables are arranged at your reception site. Number each table on the chart and mark where the bride and groom will be seated. This can be as easy as drawing circles to denote each table in the layout of the reception site and then writing numbers in the middle of the circles.
Create a list on the notepad with each table and how many it seats. For example, if each of your 10 tables seat seven, write table number one to 10 as headings and then numbers one to seven under each of the 10 table headings and begin writing in names for each table. This, along with your table chart, will allow you to see how many spaces are left at each table and who is sitting where.
Try to group families and/or friends together at the same tables so everyone will feel comfortable and enjoy visiting with people they know. Use a pencil when assigning guests to tables, as your decisions will probably change multiple times before coming up with a final list.
If anyone has RSVPed and will be coming alone, try to seat them at a table with people of the same age or same personality. This way, the guest coming alone will not feel completely left out.
Once you have a rough draft of the table assignments, triple check each table and then make a final list. This list will be what you use to create your seating assignment cards.
Find a creative way to show guests how to find the number of each table. One idea is to create table numbers, each decorated with a different picture or description, and attach them to a table number stand so it is clearly visible.
Create table number cards with each guests name and table number. These cards can be anything from tent-style cards to an apple with a small card with the guest's name and table number tied to the stem.
Set out place cards with each guest's name and table number. Place the cards in the entryway of your reception area so guests will see them before they attempt to sit at any of the tables.
It may be a good idea to assign someone to point arriving guests in the direction of the table number cards so there is no confusion. If children will be attending, you may want to have a special children's table with fun activities like crayons and colouring books.