Forget the pencil drawn circles with post-its!
Seating a table or tables is important and time consuming. If it is for a large party, there are always last minute adjustments as guests’ attendance can change. One of the many party-giving tasks that have become easier thanks to technology is table seating. There are many websites to help you do it all digitally.
If you are giving a large party or wedding, or simply a dinner party at home, digital table seating is the way to go. Creating a seating chart online allows you to make changes easily, and to keep a record for future events so the same guests aren’t seated next to each other (again!). Making changes is easy as you just move guests around with one click. The best part is that these apps won’t add much expense to your party – many are free!
ASE reader Jeannie W. uses Toptableplanner.com. Like the other sites, you choose your table shapes and sizes and complete your floor layout. You import your guest list from either Excel or a Word document. Then seat your guests. This site allows you to try it with a free trial before signing up. It is $20.00 for 6 months of access and 5 event plans. $30.00 gets you access for one year and 5 plans. $80.00 gets you one year of access and 20 plans (this is mostly for professional use).
With Wedding Wire, create the floor plan by dragging and dropping the tables to look like your exact layout. Sync the guest list with the floor plan and drag and drop guests at the tables. Print, export or email your seating chart to anyone who needs to know it. WeddingWire is also a full wedding planning site if you need that. It is free.
AllSeated imports your guest list from Excel. After you layout your floor plan to scale, you assign each guest to a table. The floor plan allows you to choose table shapes and sizes and place them accurately. If ‘relaxed’ seating will also be available, there are furniture choices like sofas and comfortable chairs you can choose and place. This site also has other large party options. It is free.
I’m including Tablerrr even though I do not know anyone who has used it nor could I find any reviews. I’d love someone to try it out because I’m intrigued. It claims to be able to assist in seating your event with its Smart Seating feature if you choose to use it. If not, it is similar to the other websites in the process and result.
If you’d like to try their intuitive seating ability, the steps are similar to the other seating websites except that for each guest you import, you provide age and gender, name and relationship to other guests. Drag and drop only a few guests at each table. After that you can use their automatic seating feature and make adjustments to what it recommends. A Free Account allows you to seat 30 guests at one event. A Premium Account is $11.50 for a year and unlimited events with no more than 350 guests at each event. If any reader uses the Smart Seating please let us know what it’s like!
Note – Are you tempted to not seat your event? In my humble opinion, guests like the security of knowing that they have a place and don’t have to arrange their own seating with friends. It’s fine to only assign guests to a table and not a specific seat, but I personally think not organizing guests at all can create anxiety for the guests.