How Do I Plan My Seating Chart? #AskDes


We are midway through the week and it’s that time where I answer the wedding planning and styling questions that you submitted on social media using the hashtag #AskDes. There was lots on your minds this week and I get it. Wedding planning can be really overwhelming. So, I’m here to help!

This past week, I went to Hawaii with Asher and Chris. In a way, it’s been a marker in the big events of our lives. We honeymooned there, celebrated our first year of marriage there–and it’s there that we found out Asher was on his way. It was full circle to return with our little guy. I was excited to share this magical place with him and remake old memories in new ways. We spent our time in Puako, where we settled into island life and let the sound of waves on sand and the wind in the palm trees carry us through our days. We walked around hand-in-hand in flip flops and sunglasses and soaked in the moments, just as we soaked in the bright Hawaiian sun. Now, we’ve returned back to Seattle and while the skies here are still dark with the last of winter grays, we are suntanned, relaxed, and hanging onto that “island chill”!

Now, onto the questions!

Laura asks: How do I put together a seating chart?

Oh, man! The seating chart! It’s something you can’t work on until the wedding is near because you have to have all your RSVPs–so that means it’s a big to-do right before the wedding. On top of that, it can feel like a game of Tetris…but one where you don’t want to offend anyone. But don’t fear. I’ll walk you through the best way to tackle this project and stay organized.

There are two ways to approach your seating. You can assign actual seats or you can assign tables. Now, if you want to specify where each guest sits, you will need escort cards and also place cards. The escort cards go at a welcome table and the place cards go at the different settings. If you just assign general tables, you can skip those cards altogether and just have one big seating chart at the reception entrance.

Either way, here’s the best way to figure out who goes where! Draw out each table at your venue and then get some mini sticky markers (these are our favorites for this). Write the name of each guest on a sticky. You can color coordinate for his family, your family, and friends. Then start putting the stickies at each table until they are all full (just check with your venue so you know how many people go at each table). Afterwards, using the sheet and stickies for your reference, write out your seating chart or print it on the escort/place cards. Done? Go ahead and take a deep sigh of relief because you’ve conquered one of the more labor intensive parts of wedding planning!

Rae asks: Who sits where?

Don’t be afraid to mix groups of friends and family! Of course, do make sure everyone has at least one person they already know at their table but if you think that your college friend and your coworker might just be kindred spirits, go ahead and put them at the same table. It’s fun to meet someone new, especially when you might not talk to them otherwise. Overall, I’m a fan of a kids table but a little hesitant about a designated singles table (for singles, I love putting them with people who have similar interests or backgrounds). And, when it comes to your family, ask those closest to you about who they want to sit with. Your sister might want to be with your cousins instead of your parents, for example. And your mom might want to catch up with old family friends. Loop them in and get their general thoughts and you might just create seating magic! I put a lot of thought into my seating plan and, at my reception, I looked out and saw all the people I loved enjoying each other and it was one of the highlights of the night.

Anne asks: Where do I and my groom sit?

The couple of honor! Most brides automatically think that there are two options: a sweetheart table or a head table where they sit with the wedding party. However, feel free to put your own spin on this. You can have both sets of parents sit with you in a lovely gesture of appreciation. If you or your spouse have children, it’s a wonderful symbol of your new family if they join you at your table. You can also forgo the feel of a “head” or “sweetheart” table by having long, family style tables (you and your husband’s places would be in the middle of the table). If you do go for a sweetheart or head table, it’s a good idea to place it in the middle of the room so everyone can see and have access to you. After all, you are the main attractions of the evening!

Meet me back here next Wednesday for more questions and answers!



Photography by: Rachel SolomonPhotography by: Meredith Sledge
  • Share