Was it hard to make a seating chart and escort cards?

posted 2 years ago in DIY
Post # 2
Member
704 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

It’s not that bad. I did somewhat elaborate escort cards–they were all color coded with different ribbons and decorations based on meal selections, and I calligraphied/hand wrote all the names. I started doing that as soon as my RSVP’s came in. If I got a yes, I’d make their escort card that night so I usually never had to do more than 10-15 per night. I just used ivory escort cards from Hobby Lobby (I think they were $1.99/pack) and I’d buy spools of each ribbon, which I attached with glue dots. I bought more of everything as needed. They turned out really beautiful (a lot of people saved them), and were super cheap to make.

I thought the seating chart was slightly more of a hassle to make. I took a large piece of poster board, drew out the layout of my tables at my venue (the venue gave me a sketch of it beforehand) and wrote a number around the table for each seat. Then I wrote each person’s name on a post it (the small, skinny flag/page marker kind) and started placing them around the posterboard. It was mostly a hassle because some people were hard to place, plus my Mother-In-Law was being a pain about trying to control the seating arrangements.

Post # 3
Member
1989 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

When you get your RSVPs identify those people that have to sit in specific places or with specific people. So for example, my grandad was in a wheelchair, there was one table that was convenient if they needed to wheel him out during the meal. So he sat there. Then break RSVPs into numbers of people, get the families of four or five located and use the groups of two and three to fill in the gaps. When you have filled in the gaps, you might see an obvious swap that would make more sense for people sitting together.

I used some sheets of paper as the tables and post it notes as the people so I could move people around easily. Then when I was happy with where everyone was sat, take photos and write up a copy (as a backup) until you’re ready to do anything else with it. 

Post # 4
Member
20 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: December 2017

lula0508 :   loz24 :  Did you guys keep each side/group separate? Like, did you have tables of all your friends, all DH’s friends, his family, your family, etc.? Or did you mix everyone together to meet each other?

If you kept everyone mostly separate, what did you do with leftovers? I’m just starting to think about this now, and worried if only one or two tables have people from both sides, those people may feel like the afterthoughts.

Post # 5
Member
2606 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - Valleybrook Country Club

I used weddingwire for my planning and guest responses which made making the seating chart easy through their site. I ended up swapping people around once I had them all placed. We planned on 8-10 people per table, but ended up having two tables that had 7 to make it flow better. 

I made it, Fiance looked it over and made a couple swaps, then  I ran it by my parents who made a couple more swaps and it was done. The hardest part was that my family has some people who CANNOT sit together because of family issues. 

The cards were easy, we used frsh magnolia leaves and wrote on them with metallic Sharpie then placed them alphabetically on a cork board with pretty pearl tipped sewing pins.

Post # 6
Member
1989 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

kole92 :  some people I kept together and some I mixed. It depended on what I thought would work well and what was needed. So for example, my grandad needed some assistance other than my grandma so I sat them with one of my uncles (and his family), then filled that table (2 spaces left) with someone from the other side of my family. Whereas on another table, we had my aunt (a set of 3), his aunt (a set of 3) and Brother-In-Law (2) so they added up nicely to 8 people. However, my friends from university nicely made a group of 8 so I just put them at their own table. The bridal party didn’t sit with us, they sat with their families so our bridal party was scattered throughout the room.

Post # 7
Member
379 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

It’s not that hard. I drew tables and just put names on sticky notes to easly move around. I actually started mine before I sent out invites and worked backwards as we got declines. You just have to think about who will get along with who and who needs to sit next to someone else. It’s always helpful to put people who know each other at the same tables and don’t to be afraid to mix people who don’t know each other if you think they would get along or have similar interests. The best thing I found was to make sure every table has at least one person or couple who are a little more outgoing and will keep the conversation going during dinner.

 

As far as escort cards to match, make them earlier on so you aren’t in a time crunch, just leave space for the table numbers and add those last.

Post # 8
Member
3282 posts
Sugar bee

I used http://www.allseated.com. You can upload a spreadsheet with your guests, plan your seating chart, and then create PDFs to give to your caterer, coordinator, etc. It was super easy to rework last minute cancellations / additions.

For escort cards, I downloaded a template with cut marks from Paper Source, uploaded the guest list, printed them out on cardstock from Office Depot, and then cut them using a board, exacto knife and ruler. Took me about 4 hours total to print and cut 200 cards (excluding the graphic design portion). But I have some experience using Adobe In Design.

Post # 9
Member
704 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

kole92 :  I color coded each “group” with my post its…so for example, DH’s family might have been green, mine was blue, his friends were yellow, mine were pink, etc. That made it visually easy to see how I was breaking it all up. Generally I kept our immediate families in their own groups, then extended family were mixed together with friends. I based it upon personalities of who I thought might have something in common to talk about during dinner (like if I had friends that were young and liked to drink, I’d mix them with other people that were similar, versus older, conservative relatives/co-workers)

Post # 10
Member
2631 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I actually liked doing it!  I sketched up the table layout on a large poster and then put each guest’s name on a sticky note.  I put various groups of people together and moved around the post-it’s until it worked well for numbers at each table.  I took a picture of it and sent it to my mom for a second opinion.

Then, we bought escort cards (the Avery brand) that came with a template to type the names/table numbers and printed them from our home computer.  The whole process didn’t take very long at all! (but we only had about 60 guests….)

Post # 11
Member
7814 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I actually found that it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. I cut out little strips of paper with each couple or solo guest’s name on it and just arranged them on a poster board, playing around with different combos. We had 140 guests and it prob took an hour or two to sort out the seating? Then we did a table chart rather than escort cards, which prob took another hour or two.

I would wait til all (or at least the vast majority of) your rsvp’s come in before beginning this though.

Post # 12
Member
1287 posts
Bumble bee

It wasn’t hard. Since I had long tables, I did it on an excel sheet to show table # and who sat on which side. And I did the escort cards 1.5 weeks before the wedding after I finalized who were coming. We had calligraphy on cards that I made that stated names and table #. There were 120ish guests. If you’re doing it yourself, you can always do the names early and put in table # in later. 

Post # 13
Member
163 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

blushingbridelove :  I printed my place cards today. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. Definitely don’t do it yourself haha. I did most of it myself and then got really frustrated because I couldn’t figure out who is who from my Fiance’s side, but once we sat down and looked at it together it was easy cheesy. I used the wedding wire seating chart tool. It was a little bit of a pain because I had to enter the guests names all into it, but once that was done it made it easy to move people around. Good luck!

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