Why The Wedding Seating Chart is Important (and Why You Should Seriously Consider Adopting It)

the wedding seating chart

Why The Wedding Seating Chart is Important (and Why You Should Seriously Consider Adopting It)

Posted by Chiara in Wedding reception, Weddings 21 Mar 2019



The wedding seating chart might be considered as a pretty accessory for a wedding reception, something beautiful and creative that is more a way to express your originality or the particular theme you have chosen for your wedding, than an actually necessary tool.


Or it might be seen as something that is too formal and that somehow limits the freedom of your guests and the atmosphere of the whole event.



No seating chart at your wedding?

Perhaps in this moment you are thinking something like “Chiara, look, the wedding seating chart is a nice idea, of course, but… you see, I want my wedding to be informal, pleasant, joyous… I want everybody to feel like they’re all part of one big beautiful family, I want them to sit wherever they want… wouldn’t it be much nicer?


No, sorry, it wouldn’t.


Forgive me for this abrupt answer, but I must say I am not a great fan of the “let’s have everyone seat wherever they want” thing 😀


I know that to assign a place to each one of your guests is a lot of fuss, almost as much as choosing who to invite, but this effort will be absolutely worthwhile, I assure you.


And I’ll explain why.


First of all, families and groups of friends should always be havens of peace, love and harmony, but you know better than me that it’s (almost) never like that.

Divorced parents, perhaps with new partners, those two dear friends of yours who both love you very much but who can’t stand each other’s presence, relatives who fought about who knows what in 1990 and never made peace since then… these situations are unpleasant, I know, especially because in most cases you cannot decide to invite one and not invite the other (they might be all equally dear and important to you).

That’s why you should deal these situations with care, diplomacy and an accurate strategy, by placing these people as far as possible one from the other, so that they will be able to politely ignore each other during the whole reception.


You also have to remember this: if you give your guests the freedom to seat wherever they want, they will all want to sit as near as possible to your table. All of them. Because what guests want in a wedding reception – especially the relatives – is TO BE NEAR TO THE BRIDE AND GROOM so that they can see them.


Nobody, except for some more rational guests who will realize it’s not the end of the world after all, will spontaneously take a seat at the farthest tables.


The problem is that someone has to, because it’s physically impossible to have them all near you, especially if you have a lot of guests. So it’s better to avoid inner fights and decide for them where to sit, preparing the wedding seating chart.


Then, you must know that for a guest finding a place at a wedding is a stress, a real stress.


The drama of finding a place without the wedding seating chart


I know how weddings were before the seating chart. I remember that, I was there.

Here in Italy nobody used seating plans at weddings during the 80s for sure, and perhaps even during the 90s. I personally saw the first examples of wedding seating chart in the first years of 2000, not before.


In the weddings of my childhood, there still were no round tables, but many long rectangular tables, similar to those that are so popular now (even if they didn’t look so glamorous at that time).


At the moment of taking seats, you could notice the same pattern of behaviour in every “group” of guests: families, couples, etc.


At first, a moment of bewilderment:

– Where shall we sit?

– Oh, I don’t know, wherever you want, it’s the same.


Then the dispute:

– Ok, let’s sit there…

– What? No, not at Tonino’s table, you know we always fight about politics!

– Then there!

– Are you kidding? Near aunt Rosa? She speaks ill of everybody all the time, I can’t stand her! Why don’t we sit over there, instead?

– Noooo, it’s too far, I won’t be able to see the bride from there, with that pillar in the middle!


And this kind of dialogue went on and on, until it was possible to find a table that was good for everybody.


Then it was finally time to have some rest and enjoy the meal, right?




That was instead the moment when you could hear a voice at your back saying: “Excuse me, could you all shift over one seat, please? In this way we could sit here too!


In my personal experience, this was always the moment when I realized that my new seat was in correspondence of the leg of the table!


 via GIPHY


What a tiring process!


You know, whenever people are allowed to choose their own place, they base their decision on their own preferences, not on the needs of the whole group; in addition, people naturally tend to keep some space between them.

The result is that in these situations there are always empty chairs here and there: to allow people to find a place it is therefore necessary to rearrange all the places until the correct solution is found.


Repeat all this process for all the tables and you can realize what a mess it could be.


So, as I was saying, it is not easy to decide where to place who, but you’ll help your guests greatly preparing the wedding seating chart for them.


And in case you need them, here are some suggestions to create the perfect wedding seating chart:


  • try to put together people who may have something in common: age, interests, or because they belong to the same family group.
  • if you have some “little cousins” who are not so little anymore (for example, 15-16 years old), please don’t put them at the children table only because they belong to the cousin category, or they will spend the whole reception trying to create a voodoo doll with your features to take their revenge for the wrong suffered (I am the oldest cousin of the family, I know what I’m talking about).
  • If you have single friends, pay attention not to create tables where one single friend is surrounded by couples: it would be a very awkward situation. It’s better to have tables with some couples and some singles: this mixture will make everybody feel at ease.


Then, there are always the exception to these situations, you know your guests best than any other so you will be able to find the best balance in your specific case!


Now I’m sure that, after all that I’ve told you, you are interested in knowing more about the wedding seating chart – and there is still much more to say! – but to do that, you’ll have to wait for the next time!


If, instead, you want to know more about weddings in Abruzzo, you don’t have to wait at all!


The Little Guide to Weddings in Abruzzo is waiting for you at the other end of the form below: you just have to fill it in and you will receive the Guide in your mailbox and for free!


What is The Little Guide to Weddings in Abruzzo about?

It’s about all those important pieces of advice you need to know to plan a perfect wedding reception in another country which has a different wedding tradition than yours: to know in advance what you have to expect is the best way to prevent a lot of stressful problems!


And together with the Guide, there is also a great gift waiting for you! Go get it!


xx Chiara


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