My tip of the week can be very helpful when having a sit-down, plated dinner for your wedding reception, or if you like the idea of assigned seating.
Creating a DIY Wedding Seating Chart can be time-extensive, but can be very inexpensive compared to having a calligrapher or invitation and stationary designer tailor the seating chart. Also, doing your own seating chart enables you to leave room for error (such as cousin Billy letting you know he and his girlfriend will not be able to make it two days before your wedding).
So where to start?
- Sit down with family members (or call, text, email, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc) at least one month prior to the wedding day and start hashing out the details: how many tables are needed, how many chairs, where should the bride and groom sit, where should the wedding party sit, who gets along well with others/who doesn’t get along well with others, which people have common interests, etc.
- Make note that a week before the wedding, the original seating alignment will probably change, so go ahead and tell yourself, “change is ok!” Some guests that rsvp’d that they could come will not be able to come, or some guests will want to bring an additional person. So a week before the wedding, have another “pre-wedding meeting” with family members to discuss seating.
- Go to your local arts and crafts store (Michaels, AC Moore, Hobby Lobby, even WalMart)about a month prior to wedding day, and purchase a sturdy felt board. I chose a black felt board as black was in my color palette and I wanted any other colors that I put on the felt board to really stand out to wedding guests.
- While at the arts and crafts store, also purchase items of your choice for your wedding seating chart like: felt numbers, ribbon, beads, sequins, pearls, rhinestones, craft paper, stencils, markers, craft glue, hot glue gun, super glue (just to name a few). Remember to keep your wedding theme and color palette in mind when purchasing.
- Don’t forget to purchase an easel for the seating chart to rest upon. If your groom-to-be is especially handy with woodwork, perhaps he can craft together a sturdy easel and you two can then paint the easel in white, black, silver or gold to give it a more elegant feel. Also, ebay.com has a nice selection of easels.
- Make sure to coordinate with your wedding consultant or a member of your wedding party as to where the seating chart and easel should rest so that wedding guests can easily view it. At our wedding, our wedding consultant set the seating chart and easel out during our one hour cocktail reception. Before guests moved to the grande ballroom–where the wedding reception and dinner would take place–our consultant moved it to the entrance of the grande ballroom.
- Have a bridesmaid or family member with a creative flair help you with this project. Sometimes stuffing invitations and putting ribbons on programs can be a bit monotonous, so enlisting the help of a bridesmaid with some artistic ideas can be worthwhile.
- Let your wedding theme influence your seating chart style! Some great and free templates for seating charts can be found at:
Stay tuned next week for DIY Out-of-Town boxes!