Seating Series: Putting Your Seating Chart Together

Wedding Planning Tips


Okay, so you have your final guest count, you know how many tables you have, and how they will be set up —how do you arrange all these people without losing your minds? I like to suggest a super easy paper alternative that can be done with things you likely have sitting in your house.

photo credit – Pinterest via BuzzFeed 

Write each guest’s name on a post-it note, and line up as many half sheets of plain paper as you have tables. Then proceed to stick those suckers down, and move people around until you have the appropriate number of people at each table, and you are satisfied with the arrangement. Take a picture, or, better, transcribe this list into a bullet point list or spreadsheet, just add a column labeled “table number” to it!.

I generally encourage people to ask their closest friends and family members for input on the seating chart—you may be surprised to learn that your parents would really rather be at a table with their college friends instead of their siblings. I also encourage people to think about mixing up groups of friends and family.

Blending groups –

At a friend’s wedding a few years ago they put a lot of thought into blending groups—everyone had at least one person at their table they already knew, but then other people who the couple thought they might have something in common with. Almost everyone commented on how lovely it was to have the chance to talk with people they might not have otherwise (and really, I love my extended family, but I know them well—I personally think it’s much more interesting to sit at a table with cousins from the other side of the aisle than one made up of just my cousins, who I likely just spent all of cocktail hour chatting with).

And, if you’re currently in the weeds of post-it-note hell, just remember—your guests are adults (or have an adult with them); they love you and are happy to be there, and will hopefully be gracious about whatever table they end up being placed at. If not—just remember that a well-stocked bar can go a long way towards soothing things.


I’m semi-convinced that the sweetheart table (a raised and/or “head” table at the front of the room where you and your partner sit) was originally invented for couples with acrimoniously divorced parents, since one way to avoid having to pick who to sit with is to sit with no one. But a sweetheart table is not your only option.

Here are some common arrangements for where the couple sits on the wedding day:

  1. Sweetheart Table: This is a small table, typically positioned at the front of the reception space, where the couple sits alone. It provides an intimate setting for the newlyweds to enjoy their first meal together as a married couple and allows them to have some private moments amidst the celebration. The sweetheart table is often adorned with special décor, such as flowers, candles, or a decorative backdrop.
  2. Head Table: In some weddings, particularly larger or more traditional affairs, the couple may sit at a head table with members of the bridal party and/or immediate family. The head table is usually positioned on a raised platform or in a prominent location within the reception space, allowing everyone to have a clear view of the couple. However, the head table arrangement means that the couple may have less privacy and one-on-one time during the reception.
  3. Guest Tables: Alternatively, the couple may choose to sit at a regular guest table with their close friends or family members. This allows the couple to mingle more freely with their guests throughout the reception and may create a more relaxed and inclusive atmosphere.

Ultimately, the decision of where the couple sits on their wedding day depends on personal preference, the size and layout of the venue, and the overall style and formality of the wedding. Couples should choose an arrangement that feels comfortable and meaningful to them, whether it’s a private sweetheart table, a grand head table, or a cozy spot among their guests.