Unless you’ve already planned a bunch of weddings it’s easy to underestimate how much of an impact your wedding seating chart can make to your reception. If you’re the type of person who likes a challenge, you’re going to have fun balancing making room for all your guests, allowing natural flow through the room, making it easy for your guests to identify their assigned space, and making the wedding reception seating chart match your theme.
Read on for seating chart basics and creative guidance for all types of wedding themes.
How do I make a seating chart for a wedding?
To make a seating chart for a wedding, create a list of guests and assign tables based on relationships and interests. Then, use creative displays like vintage frames or natural elements to showcase seating assignments.
Wedding Seating Chart Ideas For All Wedding Themes
When designing your seating charts, borrow queues from the immediate area just like these wedding seating chart examples.
Wedding Reception Seating Chart For Country Wedding
The first piece of advice is to create a wedding seating chart poster that’s front and center for all your guests to see. Make your table cards equally accessible. For a country-themed reception seating stick with the definitions. Rural, unfinished, and specific to the area are the calling cards of the country style.
- Burned text on raw local wood. Find a large plank of gorgeously textured wood and write out the names and assignments using a wood-burning kit.
- Stretched leather and black ink. You don’t have to skin a hide yourself, but a large unfinished pelt will seem as though it came from the farm next door. Creating a wooden frame and handwriting names and assignments are a perfect DIY wedding seating chart project.
- Even destination weddings can indulge in a country theme since it’s defined as drawing from the local heritage. A Hawaiian ceremony, for example, can feature a transparent plexiglass box (where the writing sits) filled with luminous volcanic rock. Accompany this by table charts made from stone statues of Laka – the Hawaiian goddess of love.
Get your DIY materials here:
- Leather Pelt: Bed Bath & Beyond
- Live Edge Pine Slab: Lowes
- Volcanic Rock: Amazon
- Fibreglass Casing: Bed Bath & Beyond
Seating Chart For Stylish Chic Wedding
Next up in our series of wedding seating chart tips is to make a firm decision about the shape of your table and how many guests will be at each table.
Knowing how many people are sitting at each table really helps you plan where to seat your guests. If it’s a chic wedding theme you’re after, consider more tables and smaller groups so that conversations can be a bit more intimate.
Chic and stylish are a beautiful combination of trendy and trendsetting. Typically chic designs use time-tested elements with unique and creative spins, just like these table setting chart examples.
- Print your seating assignments on a sheet of metal like brushed aluminum or copper and set it on a delicate artist’s easel.
- Instead of one giant seating chart, choose an elegant frame for each table and hang them next to each other in an artistic arrangement.
- Many chic wedding themes feature generous use of lighting. Blend in your wedding seating chart decor by feature a plain, clean text backlight by LEDs.
Modern Wedding Seating Chart Ideas
The next step to creating successful wedding seating charts is to priorities your VIPs. You want your biggest fans as close as possible, which include both sets of parents, grandparents, and siblings. You also want your bridal party and their dates to sit nice and close too. Once you’ve coordinated their seats you can start to plan around them.
Modern wedding seating chart ideas take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. It can be something as simple as a wide board with your choice of fonts, or an everyday item artfully repurposed.
- Rent an oversized touchscreen or use a tablet that you already own. Simply have your guests type in their name which populates a screen showing an image of their table and highlights their seat. If you can spring for it, opt for facial recognition so that your guests can skip the name typing.
- For an outdoor wedding reception, set up a mock indoor space complete with an armchair, throw rug, and a bookshelf to house your seating plan.
- Use a printed map and name your tables as a state. For example, mom and dad will be assigned to the New York table while cousin Jesse and the party will be seated at the Chicago table.
Beach Wedding Seating Chart Examples
Once you have your VIPs seated, start filling the tables behind them. This is much easier if you break them into groups – distant relatives, work friends, etc.. – and ask your trusted advisors for some help. Making sure that everyone has a great seat and that each table has a good mix of old friends and new acquaintances is much easier as a group.
A beach wedding has the flexibility of being traditional, wild, and crazy, or anything in between. Whatever your choice of themes, it’s best to borrow from your surroundings.
- Stick a surfboard in the sand and write out your arrangements. It’ll be easy enough to find one that matches your color scheme.
- Adorn an arch with as many local plants and flowers as you can, and hang your table arrangements from a delicate string. This will look beautiful and natural as it flutters in the breeze.
- Write your wedding seating chart details in white on top of a slab of glass that sits on a thick wooden base. This looks natural by itself, but also allows it to blend in with natural surroundings.
Find materials here:
Vintage Seating Chart Ideas
Once your guests have found their tables, make it easy for them to confirm their seats with easy-to-find, easy-to-read Table Cards. These can be mini versions of the larger seating charts that you have out front. Or, they can be their own design so that it fits the table better. If you’re going this route, make sure that they integrate with your overall theme.
Vintage seating charts only work if you’re planning a wedding that draws from a specific era or decade. If this is your wedding theme of choice, you can have a lot of fun with your seating chart.
- Use an old window frame
- Use an old vintage suitcase. Open it up, stand it on its side, and decorate the inside.
- Find an old piece of wood and mount vintage kitchen knobs or vintage keys to hand the seating arrangements from.
For authenticity and the best bargain, head to your local thrift or antique store.
Whimsical Wedding Seating Chart
Now that everyone has their seat, it’s time to think about Name Tags. Some think name tags are lame – you’re excused if you fit into that group – but a lot of your guests won’t know each other, and this is a really non-abrasive way to break the ice.
If your theme and design allow for it, try to make your table cards double as name tags your guests can pin to their tops.
A whimsical wedding theme is exactly how it sounds – a plunge into the odd and unexpected. Match your wedding seating chart template to your wedding theme by creating something eccentrically amusing.
- Indoor wedding? Bring a live tree inside and dangle the seating arrangements from the branches. This will look fantastic and force your guests to interact with the decor by poking through it to find their names and places.
- Create a wall of wine by mounting wine glasses to a garden wall. The glasses can either be stuffed with paper that carries seating instructions, or the glasses can be full of your best chardonnay with a label hanging from it.
- Fill balloons with helium and let them dance in the air as seating assignments dangle from each string. Not only will this force your guests’ eyes upwards to take in the entire venue, but the splash of color also makes for excellent wedding photos.
Get the stuff here:
Seating Chart For Rustic Wedding
When creating your wedding seating chart make sure it’s at the front end of your wedding reception timeline. The first thing your guests should be doing is finding their seats, getting settled, and then socializing. Otherwise, you’ll have friends and family wandering around for far too long which throws off your speech, dance, and other timing.
Rustic weddings are fun to plan for. Use the same aesthetics in your wedding seating chart etiquette as you do for the rest of your ceremony and reception. Favor simplicity over beauty, and be proud of nature and Southern values.
- Repurposed pallets can be stood on their end and decorated with plants. Wood and greenery go great with the rustic look.
- Hang Horseshoes with attached seating tags from some weathered nails. This can be hung from a wall, but it’s best if you erect something temporary so that you’re not damaging anything.
- Write names and seating arrangements on the Old Door that’s placed front and center of your reception area entrance. This should blend into the “old barn” feel that you’ve established.
Get materials here:
- Wood Pallet: Businesses are constantly paying to get rid of these. Make a few calls and you can get one for free.
- Vintage Horseshoes: Etsy
- Old Door: Wayfair
Amazing Boho Seating Chart Ideas
That’s all for how to do a wedding seating chart, but we have plenty more examples and resources for different styles and themes. Keep clicking or swiping to find the inspiration you need for your wedding seating charts.
The bohemian wedding style forms a firm connection with nature and draws from the hippy lifestyle of the 1960s.
- Adorn a Chalkboard with lace and other boho cues to create a simple yet elegant seating chart.
- Simulate the quintessential boho garland headpiece by decorating a Hula Hoop with feathers and flowers, and stringing the seating arrangements through its center.
- Stretch natural Burlap fabric over a base with alphabetized seating arrangements for a clean and simple design. For extra flavor, create a lace border.
Find DIY materials:
Seating Chart For Casual Wedding
Many couples choose to forego the glitz and glamor either to save a few dollars or to separate themselves from the fuss. Gowns, suits, menus, and decor are simplified in order to focus on the ceremony, the couple, and the company. These 3 wedding seating charts follow suit.
- Cut out the first letters of the bride and groom’s name. Post the bride’s guests’ info in her letter and do the same for the groom.
- Find the plainest Sign that you can. This can be a simple whiteboard atop a simple artist’s easel or posted on an easy-to-find wall.
- Make use of one of the most practical household items; a Corkboard. Pin your seating assignments and allow your guests to find their tables with ease.
Things to buy:
Art-Deco Seating Charts
If you’re not familiar with Art-Deco, think Great Gatsby. The style that swept Western design through the ’20s and ’30s is defined by strong geometric patterns and bold, contrasting colors. Use this style for your wedding theme for unmistakable decor.
- Create a simple board, but in the characteristic Gold and Black theme with art-deco fonts to match. Or, go with a classic Art-Deco print and write on top of that.
- Create a Geometric Archway where your guests will find their seating arrangements strung from.
- Collect 6-8 frames and paint them calling-card Gold to create one giant assemblage of frames.
Supplies for your theme:
Eco-Friendly Wedding Seating Chart
Eco-friendly is a way of life, not just a design theme. If this sounds like you, your decor of choice will have to have a 0-waste policy and should have some connection with nature.
- Burn your guests’ names and details into the ends of Wood Logs. This looks great, easy to find, easy to read, and when you’re done you can create a lovely bonfire to sit around.
- Etched Stones make a beautiful eco-friendly wedding seating chart. It’s best if you can find large stones that are naturally polished, they’re much easier to read than small rough stones.
- Reclaimed and Reused is just as good as zero-waste sometimes, which makes an Open Ladder a perfect seating chart option. Choose a few rungs at eye level to represent a table.
The great thing about eco-friendly designs, they’re mostly free! As long as you have a saw, wood logs are mother nature’s gift. The same goes with stones, and it’s very likely you already have access to an old ladder. Put a little time and effort into these little projects and they’ll look like a million bucks.
DIY Wedding Seating Chart
Some couples prefer DIY to save a few dollars, and some feel a sense of genuine pride working as a team and completing a project. Whichever version describes you, these 3 wedding seating chart examples are gorgeous, easy, and low-cost.
- Write your guests’ details on a ьirror. Try to make sure the frame matches your theme, and make sure to practice your calligraphy before attempting the final product.
- Choose an assortment of Planters and hand-craft your guests’ cards to sit inside like feeding instructions. Take it a step further by creating homemade shelves or platforms for them to sit on, or create a giant planter that sits on the ground.
- Create a lattice wedding seating chart where simple cards sit in a nice arrangement. This is great for outdoor, rustic, and casual-themed weddings.
Get materials here:
Wedding Reception Seating Chart Tips And Etiquette
To make your life simple and your wedding seating charts a great success, just follow the advice we listed above.
- Choose your overall wedding theme first, your charts and cards should match.
- Create your entire guest list so you know how many people you have to accommodate, then decide on a table shape/size so you know how many guests a single table can handle.
- Place your VIPs upfront, and break the rest of your tables into groups to make their experience social and fun.
- Make sure your seating chart is immediately visible when your guests enter the venue so they don’t have to walk around looking for it. Place table cards at their seats so they can confirm they have it right.
- Work your seating chart into your overall wedding timeline and budget so you know what you can afford and have enough time to do it right.
Like everything else on your wedding planning to-do list, a wedding seating chart becomes simple and beautiful if you put in a little research and planning ahead of time. We hope that these samples triggered your imagination and that our guidance inspires you to create the wedding of your dreams.