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Creating the Guest List and Seating Chart

#WeddingWednesday: Creating the Guest List and Seating Chart

One of the most daunting tasks of wedding planning is creating the guest list and the seating chart.  That’s why this #WeddingWednesday we are providing some tips to help you with the process.

Guest List
Retrieved from:

The first thing you should do is work on the guest list with your fiancé, keeping the list private from family and friends before it is finalized.  They will only try to make the list themselves of who they think should be invited.  If you have a lower number of guests than previously expected then you can show it to other people to see who else they believe should be on the list.

Guest List
Retrieved from: Grace Untamed

When and if your list gets too crowded grab a highlighter.  Highlight the names that you feel need to be at your wedding.  Anyone who is not highlighted can be put aside for you to look at later in case you have room on the list for more guests.  If you come to a point where you still have too many names on the list go through each name and make sure that you are not inviting anyone simply because you feel like you have to.  You should want them there and not feel forced to have them there.  Anyone that you feel this way towards should be crossed off of your list.

You have to pay for every single person that you invite.  Make sure that every single person on that list really means a lot to you.  An easy way to narrow down your guest list is to have a kid-free wedding.  You can have a babysitter at the hotel to make it easier for the parents.  They will be able to enjoy the night the way they want to.

Guest List

The guest list must be one of the first things that you do.  The seating chart is one of the last things that needs to be done.  The seating chart is not a task that can be delegated to someone else.  You and your fiancé know your guests the best so you are the best ones to do the seating chart.  If you do have difficulty seating your parents’ friends then you should ask your mother or mother-in-law to help out.

Do not feel bad about where you place people.  At most weddings guests will be seated for around ninety minutes maximum at what is a much longer event.  You should also try to allow those who will not know anyone else at your wedding to bring a plus one even if you are not allowing everyone else to do so.

If you do decide to assign seating then you will need both escort cards which get picked up at entry, telling your guests their table number and place cards which tells your guest which seat is theirs.  You only need escort cards for simply assigning tables.   The escort card could be a big sign listing people’s names and table numbers.  The chart, unlike escort cards, will not be as easy to lose and is much neater looking.

Guest List
Photo by Alexandra Roberts

The table for the bride and groom can either be a sweetheart table where you and your partner would have your own private table to enjoy the day together or it could be a long banquet table.  You, your partner and both sets of parents can be seated at this table or your wedding party and their dates can sit here with you.  You do not technically have to have a seating chart.  The seating chart helps to ensure everyone feels welcome and comfortable.  It shows you took the time to ensure that guests would be in a place where they would be happy.  The only time it’s okay to not have a seating plan is when there is a smaller amount of guests.  If you are having a cocktail party-style reception where guests socialize on their own you can also get rid of the chart.

Guest List

To choose where your guests should be seated first group them by how you know them such as: family, friends from college, coworkers, etc.  Your younger guests should be seated closer to the dance floor and your older guests should be further away.   Those who have something in common with each other should sit together so there are new faces at each table.  If anyone has a negative history with each other then they should not be seated next to each other.

Avoid having a singles table as it may embarrass your guests.  Don’t put your unmarried friend at a table with married couples.  If you want to set up two people then sit them next to each other without making it known that you want them to be together.  Designate a kids’ table if you are allowing children at your wedding otherwise seat children parents.

Guest List
Photo by Jake Carpenter

These tips will help you to perfect your guest list and seating chart to the best of your ability.  Even though the process is stressful it will be rewarding to know that you have the people who mean the most to you at your wedding.

Guest List

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