With Julia just getting engaged and me getting married last year, we’ve been doing a lot of chatting about wedding planning. Let me tell you one of the hardest parts about planning a wedding –even a wedding that is happening THOUSANDS of miles from where you live: a seating chart.

I never would’ve guessed that assigning seats would have been so complicated. My fiancé and I would think we figured out a table when a couple would pop up as an odd ball. Then, it was back to square one. If you have divorced parents who do not have the most civil of a relationship, things can get even hairier.

Photo by Kimberly Potterf Photography

Photo by Kimberly Potterf Photography

See my advice on putting together a stress-free seating chart after the jump…

Here are some of my tips when it comes to seating your guests:

  • You don’t HAVE to put cliques together. Putting different groups together is a great way for your guests to meet one another and branch out. They’ll only be seated for the meal, so don’t think of it as segregating them from your other friends/family. They can meet up on the dance floor!
  • Speaking of the dance floor. Sit those people next to it who are likely to go shake their booties! As soon as the music turns up, they’ll be the first out of their chairs. Or, you could look even at it the opposite way and put people least likely to dance by the dance floor in hopes of getting them out there!
  • Spread out the socialites! If you have any friends that can talk to a brick wall, put them at separate tables to help be a conversation starter. This is huge and will help any tables from feeling a bit awkward and will keep table conversation lively!
  • Put children together. If you have kids at your reception, consider pairing the families up for dinner. Maybe they can share crayons, and the parents can share stories. If you have room, you could also do a children’s table with parents nearby.
  • Make sure your vendors have a seat! I can’t stress this enough. They’ve all been working hard and deserve a place to sit down and enjoy a bite to eat. Well fed vendors will be eager to please you, rather than get home and stuff their face.

How to create a stress-free seating chart

To get started, you will need:

  • A floor plan from your venue. Don’t have one? No worries, get a piece of paper and simply trace a few drinking glasses to make your table arrangement.
  • Post-it Flags. Write the names of each of your guests on them and arrange them on a surface. You can even color code by family etc.
  • Patience. This is not an easy task, but this DIY will definitely make it easier! Be prepared to get a little frustrated, but don’t stress, because once dinner is over – your guests are likely to mix and mingle anyway.

WeddingLovely Seating Chart DIYNow, start creating your tables! It’s super easy to move people around and even start over if you have to. Happy planning!