Take a Seat
Read on for the Dos and Don’ts of arranging a seating chart your guests will thank you for.
Don't: Make your reception into a free-for-all.
Do: Arrange a seating chart for any guest list over 50, even if you think this is a drag. Even if you want a low-key, fluid vibe where guests aren't stuck in their chairs all night, guests will like knowing where to go immediately upon entering your reception area.
Directing guests to a specific table (or maybe even a specific place setting) makes them feel comfortable. No one wants to feel like they're jockeying over chairs like they're in a high school cafeteria all over again.
Do use your seating plan to introduce people with similar interests, backgrounds, etc. Try to make everyone feel comfortable by offering a mix of familiar and new faces at each table.
Don't: Get bogged down with spendy wedding planning software.
Do: Plan seating at your reception the old-fashioned way: write each person's name on a three-by-five card and group guests into sets of six, eight, or 10. This will represent how many seats your tables can accommodate. Using index cards gives you the freedom to move guests from one "table" to another easily as you go through your list. Or, if you really need a digital helper, try out a free seating chart tool online. Wedding Wire offers a great one.
Don't: Make divorced parents sit together if they don't want to.
Do: Let each parent head a separate table to keep the peace.
Don't: Invite exes if you can help it.
Do: Take the high road if you must invite someone from your past. This means keeping your interaction to a minimum (no dancing together, chatting for long periods of time or introducing him to others as an "ex").