The Minks Assign Seats

As of Saturday, we have gotten replies to 100% of our wedding invitations. For some reason, we felt like it might not happen, but we managed to get in touch with all of our guests who hadn’t replied and got their answers. Now it’s time to focus on table arrangements.

In light of my commitment to paperless wedding planning, I originally signed up for a website that aims to facilitate the seating-assignment process. Unfortunately, it has no upload function, so you must do a considerable amount of data entry before you can do anything. I dutifully typed in all of our guests, and when I was almost done the whole thing crashed on me. It was a lovely hour that I wasn’t about to repeat.

Perhaps the seating-arrangement website crashing was a good thing. Mr. Mink was actually very excited about this task. He had pen and paper at the ready, but I had other plans. Since he was enthusiastic, I decided to make the process a little more fun.

I pulled out my awesome circle cutter outer thing, bought during one of those sales that Michaels runs when everything with Martha Stewart’s name on it is 40% and you can use a coupon to get another 25% off. Since buying the circle cutter outer, I haven’t used it, so I christened it by cutting out eight circles that would be our tables.

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Photo by Miss Mink

I then used Post-it flags to represent each couple or guest that is coming to our wedding. I color coded them based on the social group of which they are a part (bridal party, my colleagues and friends, my family, Mr. Mink’s colleagues and friends, Mr. Mink’s family, or our mutual friends).

Instead of the traditional head table, we are renting two farm tables from our florists, Pat and Sherry from Pat’s Floral Design (Pat’s husband/Sherry’s father made the tables). They can fit 8–10 people each, and we’ll probably have 17 people at those tables. While our round tables can fit 10 people, we though it’d be nice to give everyone a little more elbow room, so we’re seating eight people at each table.

The first attempt at putting everyone at a table went really well. The groups emerged rather naturally. We put our older guests at the tables closest to the dance floor so they wouldn’t feel removed from the party if they wanted to sit down. We put some of the younger people on the outskirts, assuming they might be more apt to stay on the dance floor once they get there. We were left with this:

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Photo by Miss Mink

We were quite proud of ourselves, but left the arrangement up for a day to see how we felt about it. The next afternoon, we wondered if clustering people from similar social groups was a mistake. Would the left side of the room mingle with the right side of the room? What’s more, we love all of these people and we think most of them would like each other, so perhaps it might be more fun to mix the tables up a bit.

We left our older friends and family where they were, but shuffled some of the younger folks around. We even mixed a few tables because there were a few couples that we thought would really enjoy meeting each other. Perhaps it’s a little silly, but I kind of hope some new friendships come out of those mixed tables.

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Photo by Miss Mink

What factors did you consider when seating your guests? How long did it take you create your seating arrangement? What tools did you use?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Mink

Location:
Charlottesville, Virginia
Wedding Date:
June 2012

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  1. Member
    eagle 1552 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:24 pm

    Love the organization Miss Mink! I think we’ll end up doing some mixing up of our families and friends! We want people to mingle :)

    Our planner does this for us, I think she may actually use an online tool.

  2. Member
    hosannac 194 posts, Blushing bee @ 3:45 pm

    We had a group of older guests at our reception and one consideration was proximity to bathrooms/exits. We put “dancers” closer to the dance floor so they would get out there and boogie.

  3. Member
    Mrs. Dragon 814 posts, Busy bee @ 3:53 pm

    This is super-organized and really well thought out! Your guests are sure to appreciate your careful planning.

    We’re doing a seat-yourself kind of thing, which I hope doesn’t turn out in catastrophe, but we only have 50 guests so I think they’ll figure it out. :D

  4. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:31 pm

    We have a million Post-It Notes, so I am totally going to steal this idea when the time comes.

  5. Member
    FutureMrsKamilDark 303 posts, Helper bee @ 4:58 pm

    I’ve actually never been to a wedding where there was assigned seating. I think it’d be great, though! I love meeting new people, and would definitely appreciate all of the effort that goes into a seating chart.

  6. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 5:03 pm

    I love your seating chart, so organized and cute! Luckily, Mr. P made our seating chart, which was just an excel chart, but it got the job done :)

  7. Member
    FutureMrsSpencer 526 posts, Busy bee @ 6:21 pm

    I am definitely stealing this!!! It makes sense to have this up on the wall instead of in a spreadsheet. I love it!!!

  8. Member
    ShennaB2b 391 posts, Helper bee @ 6:59 pm

    I totally did the same thing and used post-it notes because I’m such a visual person. We only had a few problems with seating..so and so can’t sit near so and so…but overall was a very easy task.

  9. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:41 pm

    That’s a really good idea. I was planning on using post-its, but this is a great way to keep track of everybody.

  10. Member
    bracelet 1419 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:37 pm

    We haven’t started on our seating chart, but I’m a big fan of post-its & will use them! I think mixing groups is a good idea – it makes any dinner table more interesting if you get to meet some new people.

  11. Guest Icon Guest
    Meaghan, Guest @ 7:36 am

    That’s a tiny wedding! It must make things very easy on you.

  12. Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:06 am

    @Meaghan: Yes, it’s sooo easy!

    My wedding isn’t exactly tiny. Spend some time in our community. You’ll see some truly intimate weddings. :)

  13. Member
    whitediamond 48 posts, Newbee @ 9:33 am

    i used excel for my table assigning, it was very successful. goodluck~

  14. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 10:05 am

    This is honestly the part of wedding planning I am looking forward to the most! I can’t WAIT to do the seating chart. Seeing this gave me excited tinglies. I love that you mixed up a few tables/groups, and I think it’ll make for a really fun time for all.

  15. Member
    S157947 190 posts, Blushing bee @ 12:06 pm

    I was thinking on not having assigned seating but now that I see how organized you have it I think I may definitely get in on this!! So creative and it looks like fun!!

  16. Member
    penguin_girl_0413 116 posts, Blushing bee @ 1:15 pm

    That’s a great idea for setting up the seating arrangement! I will have to remember that for when I do mine!! Good call with the post-its!

  17. Member
    coyote 1677 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:18 am

    I am so scared to do our seating assignments. You made it look so easy Mink!

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