When it comes to wedding signage, your seating chart is one of the most important pieces in ensuring your event runs smoothly. It includes essential information pertinent to the organization of your event, and is one of the first things your guests see upon entrance to the reception. It’s also a great way to get creative with your decor and another element to tie into your theme. But when it comes to dreaming up the perfect seating chart, where do you begin? We sat down with Ashley Wyatt of Monarch Design Co. to get the scoop on what you need to know about creating the best seating chart for your special day, and some commonly asked questions when it comes to this component of your wedding.
When thinking about your seating chart, scale and uniqueness are key to making a maximum impact, Wyatt says. Ask yourself questions such as, “Is there a way to tune into your wedding aesthetic and use conventional surface such as wood, acrylic or vintage mirror? Would the methods and materials make sense to go with the overall flow and aesthetic of the wedding?”
When it comes to displaying your seating chart, ensure that it is placed somewhere guests will see it immediately when they walk in. “The seating chart should be large enough and visible so that your guests can easily find their name and be seated,” Wyatt shares. “Some ways we have seen seating charts displayed are on an easel, hanging structure, mirrors, envelopes, or even lettered and displayed on physical items.”
When it comes to putting together your seating chart, should you also make sure you have place cards? Wyatt says that it’s not a must, but it does provide a nice touch and is in some cases necessary. “For example, if your guests had the option to indicate meal choice or dietary restrictions on their RSVP card, this is the perfect way to communicate those selects for each guest to the caterer,” Wyatt explains. “Place cards can be done in a creative way and can act as the guest’s takeaway or wedding favour.”
One memorable way Wyatt has seen guests display their guests’ names was on envelopes. “The guests found their names on displayed envelopes and their table number along with a personalized love note to the person from the couple could be found inside,” Wyatt says.
When it comes to including first and last names of your guests, Wyatt says it depends on personal preference. For a more formal wedding, or for multiple guests with the same first name, you may want to opt to include your guests’ first and last names. For titles, Wyatt says, it depends on personal preference as well and the formality of the event. “Make sure to be creative with the title of your seating chart, such as ‘Our Favourite People’ or “Be Our Guest,'” Wyatt advises. “In most cases, you can list the guests as couples or families on the seating chart.”
If you are enlisting the help of a calligrapher or having someone else help you make your seating chart, make sure to give them your guests’ first and last names and the table numbers organized either alphabetically or by tables. “We suggest alphabetically by first or last names if their guest count is higher than 100, since it is easier and quicker for guests to find their place,” Wyatt says.