Rehearsal Dinner Seating Charts: Tips and Advice


Creating a seating chart isn’t the most exciting part of the wedding planning process, but in most cases, someone has to do it. Seating charts aren’t only necessary for the reception – many will need to create one for their rehearsal dinner, as well. Do you need to create a rehearsal dinner seating chart, and if so, how should you go about doing so? Here are a few tips to help you out.


Decide Whether You Even Need a Seating Chart

Generally, a seating chart helps keep things organized and ensure that everyone in attendance has a seat. Larger rehearsal dinners, or even more intimate rehearsal dinners with a more formal aesthetic, will particularly benefit from a seating chart. In these situations, in order to manage the celebration and keep everything moving seamlessly, a seating chart is a good idea. However, if you’re having a more casual rehearsal dinner – such as a backyard picnic or a small buffet-style meal at someone’s home – assigned seating probably isn’t necessary.


It’s Likely You’ll Only Need Table Assignments, Not Seating Assignments

If you decide to do assigned seating at your rehearsal dinner, in most cases, table assignments will be enough direction for your guests. When possible, it’s best to allow them to sit where they want at their table so that they can choose who they sit next to. Table assignments are also particularly useful when you’re tight on space. If people are choosing their own tables, it’s likely your guests won’t fill out the space on their own. This means you might end up playing a game of musical chairs trying to find everyone a seat.

Of course, there are situations where specific seating assignments are appropriate. If guests have pre-determined their meal orders on their RSVPs, seating assignments will likely be necessary to make matters easier for the caterer and the waitstaff. Additionally, if you’re having a smaller rehearsal dinner at one large table, doing assigned seating adds a nice personal touch.


Decide Who Will Sit Where

The seating or table assignments will differ from couple to couple since family and friend dynamics are different for everyone. However, there are a few general rules you can follow and then tweak to fit your needs. The couple should get the best seats in the house, where they can clearly see all of the guests in attendance. You’ll want to make sure they can enjoy all of the rehearsal dinner toasts! Their parents, grandparents, and other immediate family members should also be seated with them, as well as the host of the rehearsal dinner (if it is someone else).

Typically, bridesmaids and groomsmen will be grouped together, and then you can decide how any additional family members and close friends should be grouped. Generally, since you’re working with a more intimate group of your dearest family members and friends, most of the rehearsal dinner attendees will be familiar with at least a few other guests. This means it should be fairly easy to create these groupings.


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