Take a Seat


Assembling your guest list will be one of the more challenging aspects of wedding planning. It drives your budget and it sets the overall dynamic of your wedding reception. Once you clear the hurdle of determining whom to invite, you’ll be running headlong towards figuring out how to seat all of your RSVP: YES responses. And, you know what? We have some tips for helping you soar over that second hurdle like Caitlin when she was Bruce.

  1. Assign tables or seats: The decision to assign groups of people to a table or individuals to a seat, is driven entirely by how much effort you want to put into orchestrating your guests’ experience and bonds with each other. No matter the effort, all of your guests will enjoy being there for and with you, and with each other.
  2. Connect the dots: If you’re assigning tables, think of interests that all guests at the table have in common: parenting, travel or being your ex! If you’re assigning seats, go one deeper and figure out specific topics that people sat next to each other will enjoy discovering they have in common.
  3. Rule of six: No matter your choice of table (rounds versus picnic), start by assigning six people to each table. Once you’ve assigned six people to all your tables, you’ll be surprised at how “organically” the rest of your guests will find a natural place among those original groups.
  4. Mix it up: Do not put your friends at one table, his family at another. Your wedding party has already done its job, so let your best guys and gals mix and mingle with other guests. The joy of your reception is bringing your worlds together so make sure you do. But, if you have some Game of Thrones style rivalries simmering among your guests, keep those clans away from each other.
  5. Save seats for Elijah: We like the idea of having extra seats (or spaces to pull up a chair) at each table so you two dashing grooms can spend some meaningful time with all of your guests during the reception. This will make every table feel like head table. Speaking of which, we are not fans of a sweetheart table for the grooms. You'll have plenty of time to be on your own after the reception.

There are all sorts of software programs to help you assign seats, but we are all for the lo-fi method of sticky notes and 3x5 cards, perfectly depicted in the cover image for this article! Assign your "sticky names" to each "table card" and then move the cards around to optimize table placement in your reception area.

And, one final note: RELAX. At the end of the day, this is a joyous occasion that people want to join you in. So, no matter where they sit, they will be surrounded by love, and by crazy cousin Enrique for no more than 90-minutes before everyone is mixing it up on the dance floor.