I hope nothing that comes up in the next ten days proves me wrong, but I’m ready to assert that doing the seating chart is The Ninth Circle of Wedding Hell.
And I’ve always liked those logic puzzles where Amelia can’t sit next to Bill and Bill must sit across from Charlie. I think at least 7% of the reason I took the LSAT was to practice doing those.
The problem with the wedding seating chart is that you don’t get that list of rules. You have to write it. Even worse: you and your partner have to write it together. Which means arguing about what the rules are, and which matter most. Is it more important that the old people be away from the dance floor or close to the entrance? Is proximity to the head table really all that big an honor? Who the heck do we put at those two-tops? And so on:
“We can’t put my cousins at that corner table, they’ll feel snubbed.” “The table you had them at is also in a corner!” “But it is next to the BAR!” “What does that mean?” “It means it is not a snub.” “Why?” “I have no more arguments! I shouldn’t need any other arguments!”
“Let’s put my siblings and my high school friends at this table.” “That table is short a seat for that group.” “The baby doesn’t need a seat.” “The baby needs a seat!” “She’ll be in her carrier.” “The carrier goes in a seat!” “Couldn’t they just pop her under the table or something?”
“Your table numbering order makes no sense.” “I DON’T CARE!”
“Are you sure we can’t fit nine people at that table?” “I’m not sure we can fit eight people at that table, to be honest. Do we know any people who don’t have elbows?”
I’m sure all this bickering over nonsense like it is extremely important is great marriage practice, but that doesn’t mean I don’t hate it.
And on top of all these charming arguments, you have to deal with things like figuring out why your spreadsheet says you have 188 guests but you only have 186 listed in the website you are using to put together your seating chart. And then there’s the little issue of our budget estimate having 170 guests in the GENEROUS column, and now I have to look at our budget figures when the multiplier is eighteen higher without my eyeballs popping out of my head. And why does the spreadsheet say Mr. Guestenbaum wants the chicken, I thought he is a vegetarian? And how is it possible that 20 days after the RSVP deadline we STILL don’t know if some of these jerks are coming or what the hell they want to eat?
My stress level is climbing just remembering it.
Also, if you don’t listen to any of my other wedding advice, listen to this: I don’t care how exhausting this process is, do not give up after you’ve completed the chart and go to a Fourth of July BBQ before you finish transferring all the table numbers into the spreadsheet. Because if you are anything like me, you will drink far too many distressingly blue cocktails and shoot tequila like they’re about to outlaw the sale of limes and pose in an American flag bikini in front of an American flag and get a bunch of hipsters to sing Lee Greenwood with you in an alleyway and it will be AWESOME but the next day you will NOT be in the physical nor mental state to be able to handle spreadsheet wrangling and you’ll hope that after a half-gallon of iced tea and six or seven Advil you’ll be ready to attack it but your wedding planner will send you a nudging email before the pills kick in and you’ll beg your fiancé to do it for you but a monkey will up and die so he’ll be too busy at work to take it on and you will have no choice but to buckle up for hungover data entry and you’re not even being paid to do it. So heed my warning! Data entry first, blue drinks second. [If you thought my advice would be NOT to drink a ton of blue drinks and shots of tequila, you are not anything like me and your life is probably a lot easier and healthier than mine.]