One of the least liked wedding planning tasks, but one that can be vastly improved with a little bit of technology.
Between hunting down late RSVPs, finalising your wedding day timeline, squeezing in those last pre-wedding beauty appointments, and planning for any remaining wedding related payments - the final weeks counting down to your actual wedding date can feel like quite a challenge. One of those all-important wedding planning tasks during these last few weeks, is finalising your guest list and composing your wedding reception seating chart. This is one task you do not want to put off, because it usually takes a couple of tries (or sometimes, more than a couple of tries) to get the right mix of guests seated together.
When working on your master wedding guest seating chart template, you'll be mixing friends from different parts of your lives with multiple social circles. Whilst navigating the personalities of your immediate, and extended family members from both of your families. And then there's the other guests that don't necessarily fit neatly into a category, such as close family friends, work colleagues, and others who've meant a great deal to the two of you through the years.
Some of your guests will be single, others coupled up or married, others divorced or attending solo for other reasons. It's important to consider the potential for family drama, such as where to seat your bitterly divorced parents, or if seating newlyweds with a single friend who recently went through a major breakup, might not be such a great match. And don't forget about any past relationships that may still be awkward, such as if two of your friends who've RSVP'd were once an item, and now they're expected to explain how they know each other when they're seated at the same table!
At the end of the day, you want everyone to have an amazing time during your wedding day celebrations. And where, and who your guests sit with at the reception is a big part of that how successful that will be. With so much riding on the outcome, we totally understand how working on your wedding seating chart can be more than just a little nerve-racking, and challenging.
But before you start panicking, let's take a deep breath and pause for a moment. This is the 21st Century, and there are some pretty fantastic (and free!) online seating chart websites and apps out there that can help you streamline the whole process. Thus allowing you free to move guests around from table to table with ease, and even designing the space you're working with digitally, based on the actual specs from your venue. These digital options produce easily sharable results, ensuring everyone from your venue to suppliers and to key family members are on the same page.
Here are five of our favourite online wedding guest seating chart websites
Hitched - Table Planner
It's easy to decide who's sitting where by mapping out your custom floor plan and assigning your guests seats with your Hitched Seating Chart.
Create Your Floor Plan — Add tables, a dance floor, DJ booth and anything else to visually recreate your reception layout.
Seat Your Guests — Automatically sync with your Guest List — all you have to do is drag and drop guests into their seats!
Share Your Seating Chart — Print, email or export your Hitched Seating Chart as a list or in your seating format to pass along to others.
When professional event planners, caterers, and other vendors will pay to use an online resource to draft seating charts for their events, you know it's a good one. Fortunately, AllSeated offers couples complimentary access to its online suite of tools. All you need to do to start is import your guest list from Excel and assign tables based on your to-scale floor plan.
This tool can seem a little bit overwhelming at first, with countless options to choose from for table sizes and other additions to the room, but once you sit down and dive in, you'll find that it's easy enough to navigate to build the perfect seating chart.
This one isn’t technically an app but, if you’ve been pouring over the seating plan for so long that you’re no longer sure who’s sitting at each table, Top Table Planner could be the perfect solution.
With fully customisable table shapes and layouts, you’ll be able to figure out exactly who is sitting where and move guests around with no issue if you’re seating arrangements change or your guest list numbers fluctuate.
While this tool isn't as robust as those offering the ability to click and drag tables, it certainly will help set you up for success. You'll need a free Zola account to start setting up your seating chart, but once you're all logged in planning will be a breeze.
Add in the number of tables you're planning and assign guests to each table. Zola's seating chart tool will visually display them based on RSVPs, allowing you to filter out certain groups. Once your list is complete, you can download the finished chart in an Excel spreadsheet for easy access.
Bride Magazine Seating Planner
Arrange your personal seating plan in minutes with the Bride magazine Wedding Seating Planner. The wedding table planner takes the pain out of your organisation. Use their simple drag and drop tool to put together a plan of where your guests can sit to ensure everyone’s day is almost as enjoyable as yours!
Fully integrated with your address book and Invite Tracker
The Seating Planner takes those guests who you’ve marked as attending the reception and places them into an easy to organise list, saving you hours of paperwork and scribbling just to get things started.
Precise numbers and dimensions
Add the exact dimensions of your reception room to squeeze all the tables into the space in a tidy and organised manner. You can then choose the number of tables you want and how many guests will sit at each one, and move them around for the best room layout.
Easy drag and drop platform
The drag and drop functionality of the tool means you can easily tweak and fiddle with your plans to your heart’s content, so you don’t need to create endless paper drafts just to visualise things.