Repeat after me: seating charts are an absolute nightmare. They are every bride-to-be’s worst enemy and the cause of many sleepless nights. No matter how much you prepare yourself for the horrors they might bring, you’re never fully ready to take that task on.
And I mean, I don’t even understand why you have to do assigned seating. When I ran my original idea of having free seating by my caterer and venue manager, they both flat-out refused and said this wasn’t the right thing to do. Somehow, I saw their point, because I don’t want it to be on a first-come first-serve basis and I want to make sure everyone has a place to sit down for dinner.
I relented, much to my surprise. Then again, I’ve relented about a lot of things related to this wedding so far.
Here are why seating charts are the absolute worst and why I would never wish them upon my worst enemy:
- Figuring out how to place the tables to fit into the space you’re given, while also considering that you’re going to be needing the space to move around or place other items.
- Going over the list multiple times, trying to see who hasn’t confirmed yet and making sure that while these people have seats, you don’t end up with half-empty tables should they not show up.
- Playing sociologist or therapist when attempting to understand how the families and friends all come together. Here’s where you have to be perfectly aware of all the histories that tie these people and be very, very careful about seating X and Y together. I thought this could be avoided because we have a small wedding, but it turns out, it’s even harder! For example, do the cousins sit with their parents or do we separate them?
- In a ideal world, you should have tables of 10 so everyone’s happy and comfortable.. But this is not an ideal world, and you’ll end up with several tables of 9 or 11 and rarely any tables of 10. This is due to the above-mentioned familial intricacies.
- There’s always that one person who is invited because they’re family and yet end up screwing your whole plan. They don’t even bother to RSVP, don’t get along with any of the invitees, has a high chance of not showing up at all, but demands to be treated as the rest of the guests. This does not make sense to me. Worst of all, no one wants to call them for follow-up!
- Technology is great but desperate times call for a good old pen and paper. I’m using allseating.com, and while it’s great, I can’t understand a single thing I’m doing. I’m also afraid of losing my data at any given moment.
- You always forget to account for yourselves, the bride and groom. In every version of the guest list I’ve made, I’ve always arrived at the total number only to realize, wait I haven’t included Ahmad and I, or the flower girls. Yikes.
- Much like you can’t have tables of 10, you can never truly have an exact 100 guests. It’s either 90 or 110. Deal with it.
- You have to hire a hostess to tell people where to sit. Said hostess disappears 10 minutes into the wedding and you’ll never see or hear from her again. What a waste!