If a calligrapher will be doing the seating cards, find out when she needs names. Otherwise, make it your goal to finalise seating five days before the wedding.
There are almost always last-minute cancellations - someone will get ill, or something else unexpected will happen. Finish the seating chart knowing that you’ll have to make some adjustments.
First off, who will site with the bride and groom? If you’re having a head table, you’ll need to determine how to fill it.
If parents get their own tables, let them decide how to fill them. In general, ask parents to seat their own friends and relatives - it will be that much less for you to do, and they know better than you which great-uncle can’t be anywhere near unaccompanied females after a few drinks.
If the official accepted your invitation to the reception, he should be seated at the head table or with the parents. If the couple is having a sweetheart table, he sits with the bridal party or with the parents.
Once the bridal party and parents are taken care of, you can move on to more general seating. This is where your groups come into play.
The bride and groom’s table is placed centrally, at the edge of the dance floor. Members of the bridal party, parents, and close members of the family sit with them or at tables nearby. In terms of precedence, the inner ring of tables, closest to the dance floor, is choice, and the best seats are those that face the dance floor.
Table numbers should be in sequence so guests can find their way. If you’re naming tables instead of numbering them, plan on having extra staffers armed with seating charts at the entrance to help guests find their tables.
Once you’ve figured out your seating, type up a list of who is sitting at each table; when the seating is final, alphabetise the list for easy reference.