Assigned Seating

There are many benefits to choosing assigned seating for your wedding reception such as making sure your guests are comfortable, and seated with other people they know.  Give yourself ample time to plan the seating arrangments, but be flexible since your guest list can change when your RSVP's are returned.  When your guest list and seating chart have been finalized, decide if you will use table numbers or table names to identify each table.  If you are having a themed wedding such as a green wedding, you could name your tables after trees and plants. See other theme ideas here.  If you would like to use table numbers, consider using numbers that relate to you such as the age you were when you met, number of years you have been together, number of times you have been to your favorite destination together (Hawaii, San Francisco, Major League Baseball Games etc) these numbers will be a conversation starter for guests and will also avoid any idea that the tables are numbered in order of importance.

With your table names or theme decided, make a diagram of how you would like your tables laid out.  This diagram will be very important to getting your reception set up the way that you want and will serve as a helpful tool for your vendors.  If your favors are personalized for each guest, include their names on the diagram or on a seperate sheet of paper with the names by table, crossing off any last minute RSVP's who will not be attending.

Next, you can either create escort cards or a large board with guests names and their assigned table number or name.  If you have exact seating preferences, then you will indicate which table they will be sitting at and the guest will then find their name card at their seat.

You can be creative with your escort cards, and you can even use a guest favor with their name on it to identify their seat at the table.  For a smaller wedding, a manzanita tree with the guests name and table number/name hanging in the branches would be a beautiful way to display your escort cards.  Other ideas include using corks, clothespins, mini frames, and folded card stock for displaying names.  Check out some of these creative ideas on Martha Stewart Weddings .

Websites like and have great tools for seating charts, guest list managment/rsvp tracking and more so use all of the free tools available to you.

Just remember, there are no rules or limitations as long as the system you use is easy to understand for your vendors and most importantly for your guests!

_________________________________________ Photo by Tracy Lynn Photography

For the Tech Savvy Brides!

Wedding Planning has modernized, so now instead of carrying large folders and planning books you can simply login and go!  For the brides who are planning their weddings without the help of a professional coordinator, but would like to stay organized; We have the answer for you! Software programs have been developed specifically to help you stay organized with your guest information, RSVP's, table settings, budget, vendor contracts, and more.  With price ranges from 49.95 to 299.95, there are some variations to the software program features so we found a great online review of wedding software programs that should be helpful!

*click on image to view full review at

As with any software programs, we recommend that you read the reviews on these products to ensure that you are confident that you will be satisfied.  Reading product reviews will make you aware of issues such as freezing up & data loss.

If you would prefer not to use wedding software, consider some of the wedding websites available online that can save you time by helping you stay organized. Plus, these tools are easy to use no matter how tech savvy you are!

Wedding Countdown Tickers create your own wedding countdown tracker (ticker) which can be used web sites, blogs, email, forums, any where that accept HTML.

Manage Your Budget, Invitations, RSVP's, & Seating Charts is a website created to help you organize your seating arrangements including RSVP tracking, and meal choices.  It is free to use for up to 50 guests, and has different packages available depending on the number of events & guests you would like to upload. allows you to manage your guest list, rsvp's, itinerary's & budget.  Plan your bridal shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, & wedding and keep track of all of the details! There are packages designed for individuals planning their own events, and wedding professionals planning several weddings & events.  Check out their pricing and package options here., this website has pretty much every planning detail you will need.  If you have questions about etiquette and how to decide where to seat people, check out their How-To Article on Wedding Reception Seating Arrangements.

Create Your Personalized Wedding Website - Keep friends & family informed about all of the wedding details, and let them in on the fun.  It may be stressful at times, but planning a wedding is a special time in your life, so share these exciting moments with your guests as they will feel more involved.  This is a good place to share your engagement pictures, let guests know where you are registered & also give your out of town guests itinerary information and hotel accommodations.

With so many great tools out there, we love to hear about your experience with wedding software and online planning websites.  Leave us a comment, and let other brides know what you think!