The Dreaded Seating Chart - There's an app for that!
When you’re quickly approaching the final weeks (and days) before your big day, you most likely have a lot running through your mind and a little bit of stress may be inevitable! Especially when it comes to wrangling last minute RSVPs to begin putting together that dreaded seating chart.
You may be thinking, “Do I really need a seating chart? Can’t I just save myself a layer of stress and let my guests sit wherever they’d like?” Well, trust us, we’ve had those thoughts too during our own wedding planning stages, until we envisioned 150 people playing musical chairs to pick their preferred seat for the night. So, yes, while we do recommend you get to work and spend some time on this task to cross it off your wedding planning list, we have a solution to help you avoid the whole color-coded sticky note fiasco: Wedding Wire’s Seating Chart Tool! It’s FREE and makes crafting your seating chart a little more fun and a little less like an emotional game of Tetris, as A Practical Wedding likes to put it.
But, what exactly is it about this tool that makes it so special? Well, let’s get into the nitty gritty:
You Can Easily Import Your Guest List to Quickly Solve the Seating Chart Puzzle.
First, in order to get the most use out of this tool, you’ll want to create a WeddingWire.com account. From there, you can do all sorts of things, but we advise you to import your guest list into your account prior to getting started on the seating chart. This way, you can even painlessly keep track of your mailed-in RSVPs digitally, marking each guest as Attending or Not Attending (or, No Response if some of your family members missed the RSVP deadline in big bold lettering on your invitations).
You Can Select the Size of Your Reception Venue, Table Shape, # Of Guests, & More.
This is one of our most favorite aspects about the app. It allows you to select the exact size of the room you’re working with (room length x room width), the shape of the tables your guests will be seated at (round, square, or rectangular), and the number of guests you’d prefer to be at each table (we advise 8 guests max if you’re going with round tables). From there, you can move around each table to fit the layout of the room. Not to mention, the tool even allows you to add room for a dance floor, gift table, dessert table, buffet tables (if applicable), and more!
You Can Drag and Drop Each Guest into Their Designated Table (& Even Seats).
It really is a piece of cake! Just drag each guest’s name from the guest list, and drop them into their designated table (and even their designated seats). It’s generally enough to plan out each table… so you do not need to go as far as planning out each assigned seat at each table, unless you really, really, really want to. Oh, and if Aunt Barbara lets you in on some juicy family drama and mentions Alice and Diane are not speaking at the moment, you can easily move them around to different tables, and also label each table with their designated table numbers.
And once you feel like you’re nearing the end and almost wrapped up with the seating chart, the tool will tell you how many tables you have, the number of seats, and how many occupied seats there are. So helpful!
You Can Effortlessly Share the Seating Chart with Friends, Family, & Vendors.
Not only do you have the ability to print your seating chart once you feel like all the puzzle pieces fit, but you also have the ability to export it as an image and email it to your vendors. Trust us when we tell you they will greatly appreciate getting their hands on this document! For us, it helps us in ensuring the layout of the reception venue is accurate, table numbers are accurate, and if there are place cards for each seat, those are accurate too!
Now, does putting together the seating chart seem a tiny bit more manageable? We sure hope so! But, we also have some tips for you to keep in mind throughout the puzzle-solving process:
When you're almost 100% with the seating chart, share it with your closest friends and family members, and ask for their input. This will help you in ensuring everyone is in a good place - your mom may know some juicy details about your cousin Mary that may lead you to needing to separate her from your cousin Terry. Just be prepared and flexible to move people around a handful of times! Oh, and don’t ask for feedback if you’re not open to re-working the puzzle.
Try to not put too much pressure on yourself when working on this major last-minute wedding task. Your guests won’t be confined to these seat placements all night long. They can move around, mix and mingle during various reception events. And overall, everyone is there to celebrate you and the love of your life starting your forever together! If you’re having a six-course meal, however, you might want to put a little more thought into the groups of tables you put together and make sure they mesh well.
Don’t feel obligated to put together tables where each and every single person knows one another. One of the most fun parts of a wedding for guests is mingling with people they haven’t seen in forever, while meeting those they’ve never had the chance to visit with in person before! Blend the two groups from either side of the aisle together—ensure everyone has at least one person at their table they already know, and then throw in a couple other guests who they might have something in common with. It keeps the evening fun and interesting!
And be sure to check out WeddingWire.com’s entire free fleet of planning tools, in addition to the seating chart tool! They really do a fabulous job in assisting soon-to-be brides and grooms with their guest list, budget, vendor organization, hashtag creation, color scheme, and more. You can visit their website or download their free app for iPhone or Android, which features all of these tools you can use on-the-go.