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If you haven't already, be sure to check out the wedding planning tools from Martha Stewart Wedding. I love the guest seating tool, it can also help you keep track of who's invited, which guests have replied and where they'll sit. You can edit the size of your venue room, how many chairs per table, and how close the tables will sit next to each other. You'll have to register to use the tools, but they're so handy it's worth it!
When planning your seating charts, remember that there's no set rules but many tips and tricks to make your arrangements comfortable for you and your guests. Start by planning where you will sit, either at a personal table with your groom (the sweetheart table) or at a larger table with your attendants. Make sure that you and your attendants will be able to face the room. The bride and groom should be centered and then seat your attendants in a boy-girl-boy-girl pattern (with each attendant sitting with their dates).
If you have a diverse group of guests, you can seat your guests with people of similar interests, but don't be afraid to mix them up either. Don't be afraid to mix age groups, or to put singles with couples. If you have disabled or elderly guests be sure to make their seating arrangements are comfortable. For the elderly, they may prefer to be further from the dance floor where it's quieter. Disabled guests will need tables with easy access. Children should sit with their parents or at a children's table managed by a baby sitter.
Overall, remember that this is really a giant party where your guests can meet new friends and catch up with old ones. If you put thoughtful consideration into each table's situation you're sure to do well!
Photos by Judi Bumstead.