As event professionals, we know that planning a wedding takes a serious amount of time and energy. Our clients are likely new to the process and look to us to guide them every step of the way.
The good news today is that event tech tools are available at our disposal to help save time, improve accuracy, and make the entire process more efficient (and enjoyable too!).
With help from our friends at Allseated, we’ve gathered the top three tips to create seating charts for clients. By combining these simple steps with the use of event tech tools, you will free up time and streamline processes before you know it!
Organize the guest list in advance
Since drafting the guest list should be one of the first things we tell clients to do, it’s best to have them put it together in an organized fashion. Suggest to clients that they group guests as they list them – college friends, family, colleagues, specific needs guests – these categories will help later on when it is time to assign the guests to their tables.
While traditional table groupings may involve categories such as family, colleagues, college friends, and family friends, another important category is “specific needs.”
Using the label “specific needs” is important to make note of those guests who may not be able to walk far into a room, may need close access to a bathroom, or have hearing issues that affect how far away/how close you need to seat them in relation to the band.
Event tech has really changed how we organize all wedding planning details. Allseated offers a guest list management tool that allows you to easily enter all guest information including notes, RSVPs, and important details with filtering options. The guest list also links directly to the seating chart for easy arranging within the wedding floorplan.
What’s really nice about using an online guest list tool like Allseated is that it’s collaborative, meaning you can work with clients on the event. You can give clients access so that they can add the guest information themselves, or they can provide you with a file for easy uploading too.
Consider the venue
The wedding venue plays a key role in streamlining the seating chart design process. It’s a good idea to contact the venue for a clear idea of the event space for the wedding. You wouldn't want to start designing a layout or arranging a seating chart until you understand the flow of the room. You can also work with your venue within the event in Allseated to collaborate on the details. The venue can present layout ideas to you and your client within Allseated by designing floorplans that are most popular and look best in the event space. This level of visualization really brings the event to life and allows you to make decisions that improve accuracy while ensuring that the vision is in line with what the client wants for their wedding day. Working collaboratively like this in a digital platform that updates in real time offers an opportunity to review layouts that are designed to scale in both 2D and 3D, take virtual walkthroughs of the space, make changes, understand your needs, and finalize table placements before seating guests.
Working collaboratively in a platform like Allseated also keeps the little details (which are actually big!) from being missed. Think entrances, exits, bathroom locations, kitchen, and outlets – all important floorplan details to be marked in the layout before setting up the seating chart.
Utilize Online Seating Chart Tools
As mentioned earlier in this article, working digitally to create wedding layouts and manage the seating chart has really changed the wedding industry. No longer is there a need for paper and pencil drawings or sending emails back and forth with files attached! When you have a floorplan designed to scale in 2D with viewing capabilities in 3D, it’s now possible to accurately design a layout because you can determine the size of your tables, how many will fit in the space (and visualize what that looks like too!), and determine where you want to seat guests within the floorplan.
With online seating chart tools like Allseated, creating a wedding seating chart has never been easier or more efficient. In a quick, easy, and organized fashion, add guests to tables within the layout, and even assign guests to specific seats at specific tables if desired. While creating the seating chart, you are able to view it in both 2D and 3D for a real feel of the flow, with the ability to make changes at any time. Once the seating chart is complete, a report can be generated to hand off to anyone at the venue who may need it when setting up the event or serving meals to guests during the reception.
Important to Note: The seating chart should be created once the wedding couple has a pretty good idea of the guest count, which is usually three to four weeks before the wedding. While it can be done earlier, there will most likely be last-minute changes that can substantially throw off the entire seating plan.
We guarantee that following these three quick and easy tips for working with clients on wedding seating charts will save you all time and energy and most importantly, help to achieve a seamless day of the event.