Creating a unique seating chart is about knowing how many people will be attending your wedding and being realistic about what kind of display you can achieve between the RSVP date and the actual wedding date.

There are two common ways to organize a wedding seating chart: alphabetically or by table. Alphabetically is going to be easier for your guests. However, going by table is easier for you and you’ll have more options for creating cute displays. Either way, you will want to make sure the reception tables are clearly marked with table number cards so guests find their seats easily once they’ve referenced your sure-to-be gorgeous seating chart!

5 Genius Wedding Seating Chart Ideas (and 3 Not-So-Genius Ideas)

1. Windows
Old (or new) multi-pane windows are a beautiful way to display your wedding seating chart. Purchase a few glass markers and ask someone with impeccable handwriting to write the names of your guests in the proper order. You can use each pane to display a portion of the alphabet or to display each table. (TIP: try to place the window(s) in front of a solid-colored background in a dimly lit area. Reflections can make window seating charts difficult to read.)

2. Photo Frames
Photo frames can be used in many ways to display your seating chart. You can go with several individual frames in matching or non-matching styles or you can find one multi-photo frame to house all of your guests’ names and corresponding table numbers. (TIP: throw a few engagement photos in there. Guests will love it!)

3. Clothes Pins
Just think of all the ways you can use clothespins to display your wedding seating chart! You’re sure to come up with something fun and easy using this method. Simply stringing twine up somewhere in your reception venue will suffice or get creative with unique backdrops. You can use large cards featuring table numbers and names or individual escort cards to guide your guests to their proper seats. What’s an escort card? Read our blog post called Escort Cards vs. Place Cards to learn more.

4. Wood Panels
Wood is a strong design element in today’s weddings, which is great because it’s easy to find and easy to work with when it comes to dressing it up or down for your occasion. We love the incredibly simple idea of just tacking your seating chart to a wood panel background. Old barn wood is perfect, or an old wooden door could be just the kind of unique seating chart idea you’ve been looking for.

5. Coasters
Whether your wedding coasters are made of wood or heavyweight paper, you can write the name of the guest and their table number on the back of each coaster just like you would on an escort card. Guests can then take the coasters home as wedding favors. All they have to do is flip the coaster over when using it.

3 Not-So-Genius Seating Chart Ideas

1. Trees
Yes, they look beautiful. However, these DIY seating charts are a lot of work for you and the guest. If the guest has to walk 360 degrees around the tree while searching 200 small cards just to find where they’re supposed to sit, you’ll have a traffic jam for sure. Plus, if you have to tie a string to every escort card, you’ll be in a jam one week before the wedding when you realize just how many place cards you have to write out…and hang.

2. Chalkboard
Chalkboards seem like a cute and easy option but it’s very hard to write neatly on a chalkboard. You could use a white paint marker and resolve to never use the chalkboard again but even that can be tricky. You want your seating chart to be as legible as possible, so we recommend pre-printed seating charts or using escort cards, which allow you to comfortably write lots and lots of names. You can display either option on a chalkboard and write “Seating Chart” or “Find Your Seat” at the top.

3. Oversized Seating Charts
You know how Pinterest offers up lots of beautiful seating chart ideas printed on one large sheet of paper and they look amazing? Well, that’s not a super easy look to achieve. You need the ability to print on a large scale. If you can’t do this at home (or dare we say it, at work) then you will need to look into a professional printing establishment like Kinkos. Otherwise you will end up piecing something together that’s not going to look nearly as nice unless you’ve got mad scrapbooking skills.

Photo Credits: Twine Display: Judy Pak Photography via Colin Cowie Weddings, Photo Frame Display: Happy Wedd, Wood Panel Display: Wedding Chicks