How to Format a Seating Chart


Step One: send invitations
Step Two: receive responses back (after calling all of the people who forgot to respond, which is totally normal)
Step Three: plan where everyone is going to sit
Step Four: format the seating chart!

There are two things to consider when you’re ready to put your guest names on paper (or board, or mirror, or acrylic, etc.):

1. How should it be organized?
2. How do I list the names?

First, seating charts are usually organized one of two ways: alphabetically or by table number. Alphabetically is typically easier for guests to navigate but either way works great.

Next, decide whether you’d like to list guests together on one line or on separate lines. Typically, listing guests together on one line saves space if that is something you are concerned about. Below are examples of both formats.

Listed Together on One Line

Mr. and Mrs. George Smith

George and Mary Smith

Informal, Family
The George Smith Family
George and Mary Smith and Family

Informal, Last Name First
Smith, George and Mary

Listed on Separate Lines

Mr. George Smith
Mrs. Mary Smith

George Smith
Mary Smith

Informal, Family
George Smith
Mary Smith
Noah Smith
Sarah Smith

Informal, Last Name First
Smith, George
Smith, Mary

Things to Consider

  1. Ask that your responses be due back at least four weeks before the wedding so you have plenty of time to plan the seating assignments.

2. Be sure to double check the spelling of your guests’ names.

3. If the head table includes just the bridal party, it is typically not necessary to list that table on the seating chart if space is a concern.

4. If changes happen after you’ve sent the seating chart off to be made (or after you’ve started making it yourself), don’t stress. It’s best to keep what you have and worst case you’ll text someone to tell them what table to sit at. If you hired a planner, tell them the situation and they will handle it!


For more information on how to properly write your guests’ names, visit the Envelope Etiquette page.