How many couples, moms, even dads have I heard agonizing over the dreaded Seating Chart? Enough to know it’s a sensitive issue in almost every wedding. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be!
In my experience, the hard part is thinking about it. Stressing over it. Worrying about who’s going to think what about the decisions you’re making. Or who’s going to want a say in it. At this point I’ll ask you to join me in saying au revoir to all of that!
As with so many aspects of your wedding, when it comes to seating arrangements… To thine own self be true. Of course you’ll give thoughtful consideration to where you place your guests, but keep in mind that your loved ones are there to celebrate you, their hearts will be filled with joy and not one person will be thinking, Oh wow, I’ve been placed at the wrong table…
Now let’s get to the fun part… options! Have you thought about how to let your guests know where they’re sitting? Read on for some beautiful inspiration!
If you haven’t heard it before, the term Escort Wall simply means a list or structure that displays your table assignments. It can be something fun and quirky, or an easy yet pretty chart, or an elaborate statement piece.
There are a few ways to display your information. The first is to list your guests by Table, the second is on individual cards, called Escort Cards.
By Table ~My recommendation is to list each table with the guest names to follow. People like to see who they’re sitting with, and this is also a fun way to add some personality into it by perhaps naming your tables rather than numbering. For example, if you have a connection with the Northeast Coast, assign your tables Nantucket, Block Island, The Vineyard, The Sound… as such. If you love overseas travel, Paris, Munich, Brussels may be perfect table names. The idea is, have fun with it!
Escort Cards ~With a plated meal, your caterer will need to know which entree to serve to which guest. This is accomplished by placing a card at each place setting with the table number, the guest’s name, and a meal code – fish, vegetarian, beef, etc. One way to display your Escort Cards is to attach them to the Escort Wall in a fun and pretty way.
Another way to provide name cards to your guests is on an Escort Table. Again, make it pretty! Ask your floral designer to create an arrangement that will draw attention. Or do something fun! One of my couples offered a specialty cocktail, and placed each escort card on top of the copper mug presented as a take home. It was gorgeous! I’ve also seen Escort Cards placed within a tiny succulent gift, also beautiful! The ideas are endless!
As a combination of the above, display a seating chart – which some guests find to be easier, and also avoids pitfalls like cards getting lost, dropped or forgotten – with the escort cards pre-placed at the tables. Your guests will find their table assignment from the chart, and their card will be waiting for them at the table.
However you display your seating arrangement, be sure to have it in the area where Cocktail Hour will take place so your guests have plenty of opportunity to find the information before being seated for dinner.
If you’re looking for something different than the usual options, one of my brides had her table assignments listed on the back of the ceremony program. Every guest had the information in hand, shown in a beautiful way, with ample time to look at it as they awaited the ceremony. Brilliant. Simply provide the information to your stationer and see how beautifully it turns out!
With all this having been said, the one thing to remember above all is that whether you’re a mom or a bride or a soon-to-be-in-law, on the night of the wedding as you’re enjoying a gorgeous meal in a room full of love, who’s sitting beside each other at which table will be the last thing on your mind!