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Tips & Tricks: Planning Your Seating Chart

Planning your seating chart can often feel intimidating. However, we can honestly say it seems harder than it really is. If you follow these tips and tricks, you can have your seating chart done in no time.

Our biggest piece of advice is don't put so much pressure on yourself to have a perfect seating chart. Most people only sit at their table for the meal and then are mingling the rest of the evening.


  • Pen

  • Lined Paper

  • Your Confirmed Guest List

  • Venue Floor Plan (see examples attached)

Consideration: If you are having a plated dinner you will want to ensure each guest is assigned a specific seat at their assigned table and the caterer will require a copy of your seating plan so they may ensure the right meal goes to the right person. If you are not having a plated dinner we recommend assigning a table but letting your guests seat themselves around the table accordingly.

Step 1: Wait until you have all your RSVP's back, otherwise you will be shuffling things which will make the process so much more stressful.

Step 2: Build out your table groups without table numbers. Numbers can be changed at anytime, but sometimes we get held up with where that table should be before we decide who sits where. Always group before placing.

Step 3: Start with your immediate family, followed by extended family then branch into your friends and family friends.

  • Parents & Family Table

    • Traditionally parents of the Bride and Groom would sit together. This is after-all the union of two families and a very proud moment for your parents, so it's a nice moment for them to share together. This of course can be tricky when you have separated parents, who are best sat apart and in this case it may be best to sit family groups together with other family members such as grandparents and siblings or siblings-in-law.

  • Kids Tables

    • Depending on the age of the children and the number of formalities this can be a nice way for children to really enjoy your wedding. We don't recommend this for toddlers or young children who may need assistance from their parents or reminders to remain seated and behave during speeches. Older children, pre-teens and teenagers, will appreciate a little freedom and option to socialize with others closer to their age.

  • Friends Tables

    • Friends are typically easy to place. Singles or couples that may not know anyone else attending are great to fill out a family table where space is left. Large friend groups don't mind to be seated a little further away and just happy to support and celebrate with you.

Step 4: Do a quick double check to ensure you have not missed anyone. At this point, also consider adding an additional flex table or balancing out a few larger groups with smaller groups to allow flexibility in shuffling if a last minute attendee RSVP's.

Step 5: Begin to place your groups in your venue floor plan then number the tables.

Step 6: Print your seating chart. Remember most printers will need a minimum of 1-week turnaround.

Consideration: You may wish to consider using event software to assist with planning your seating chart. We recommend checking out Wedding Wire and Style Me Pretty.

Below are a few samples of our tent layouts for your consideration. Custom layouts are available for couples getting married at Hilltop Wedding Center with couple specific layouts being created typically 30 days from the event date to ensure accuracy.

Tent (Sample Round) (1)
Download PDF • 3.05MB
Tent (Sample Rectangle Table)
Download PDF • 3.09MB
Tent (Sample Mixed Table)
Download PDF • 3.06MB


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