Seating Plans – The Task We Love to Hate


Planning a wedding can be a lot of fun, but not everyone enjoys every single aspect of planning. If you’re into fashion then you’ll enjoy gown shopping and deciding on your hair and makeup. Creative types tend to enjoy choosing decor and florals. If you’re a foodie then we know menu planning and wine selections will keep you happily occupied for weeks.

But there is one task that is pretty much hated by everyone:  creating the seating plan. And the bigger your guest count, the more complicated and time consuming is the task of figuring out where everyone is going to sit. You may want to ignore this job, but I strongly recommend couples prepare a seating plan for a variety of reasons. A seating plan will make at least these people very happy:

  • Your caterer:  a smooth transition from cocktails to dinner allows for efficient dinner service (no cold soup!)
  • Your Aunt Winnifred and Uncle Simon who divorced 12 years ago but still need to be kept as far away from each other as possible
  • Your wedding planner: your seating plan will let her easily find those guests that will have an important role to play, such as speeches and toasts

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges with creating the seating plan is that it’s often a very last minute task. You may find your guest list changing as your wedding day draws closer. The fact is life sometimes gets in the way. Despite your guests’ best intentions, some of them may have to cancel at the last minute. Conversely, a guest that previously RSVP’d “No” will suddenly announce he’s available to attend. Couples break up. Children get sick. Job transfers happen.

Before you crawl under the covers and scream I want to share some easy-to-use apps that make creating seating plans a snap. Maybe even a bit of fun. Some very popular choices are Social Tables, Wedding Mapper and Seating Arrangement. Social Tables is a particular favourite as it helps you socialize your guests before the wedding. Oh, did I mention that each of these programmes is free?

Still not sure you need a seating plan? David Connolly of Rich Bride, Poor Bride makes a strong case in this article from


Leave a Reply