Designing a seating chart is one of those hassles you’d like to put off until the last minute, but it doesn’t have to be a headache:
1. Get started ASAP. As soon as you know who is atteding, start planning the seating arrangement. Don’t leave it to the day before your wedding (or worse the day itself) you’ll have plenty of other things to occupy your every waking moment.
2. Divvy ’em up. Make a list that’s divided into the bride’s family and friends (and friends of the family), and then do the same for the groom. Seeing it all on paper (or a computer spreadsheet) can make it easier to determine natural seating partners.
3. Go low tech. Break out the sticky notes and paper and start trying out different arrangements (the sticky notes make it easy to rearrange guests).
4. Dive in head first. The head table is a cinch bride and groom at the center, best man, next to the bride, maid of honor, next to the groom, then fill in the rest following a boy-girl arrangement. Or if you prefer, seat the bride’s party on one side and the groom’s on the other. You’re in charge. Flower girls and ring bearers are seated elsewhere with their parents.
5. Parental guidance suggested. Parents of both the bride and groom usually sit together along with other close family members and the officiant. But if your parents are divorced, you’ll probably want to have a different arrangement. Ask your parents what makes them comfortable.
6. Squash feuds: If you know some relatives just don’t get along, seat them at a distance to keep the peace.
7. Scrap it all: If you’re having a very casual event, you may not even want a seating chart. Let guests seat themselves an provide an extra table or two for overflow.