Where Is Everyone Sitting?


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.]


  1. Well I for one am thrilled with my placement at the wedding. I understand that I am seated close enough to Liz that I can make out with her if we take enough advantage of the open bar. So well done Miss Robin. #summerofyes

  2. Oh man, I farmed the whole guest list out to my husband, who did a great job overall, except that he put my great aunt with my grandmother, and that is a terrible combination and I totally lost it on him a few days before the wedding. Overall, we didn’t worry too much about who was sitting where, because when I’m at a wedding, I don’t worry about where I’m sitting and I’ve never felt snubbed by being in the back corner or anywhere else. But it was an annoying process. I’m just glad I didn’t have to do it. But really, it’s fine. It will work out okay – even if somebody is in the “wrong” place, they will go sit with the right people.

    • That’s why I think you need to do it together. Because I would put a great aunt with a grandmother too. They’re sisters, after all! But you don’t necessarily know all the extended family drama your fiance has going on.

  3. Those d*cks who don’t RSVP are on my shit list. And will remain there. We’re four days out from the ceremony and NONE of his paternal aunts/uncles have RSVP’d. NONE. What the what?!??!?!? At least we’re casual enough that we’re not doing a seating chart. Those logic puzzles are fun when they’re logic, not so when there’s all that emotion in there.

    • Our closest family made up 90% of the stragglers. I think they feel like, “well obviously I am coming, I don’t need to send this card.” Except then I have no idea what they want to eat.


    at least that’s how i felt two days before my wedding when i was working on the eleventy billionth version of our seating chart and getting more last minute calls that people were coming.

    • As I’ve admitted before, I am a late RSVPer. But like, sending it out the day before it is due late. No idea there were worse folks out there.

  5. Put your cousins by the bar. Jason won’t get as tired.

  6. LOLOL I don’t mean to laugh…but I was exactly where you are just a mere 2 months ago and believe me, I hear ya! My numbers wouldn’t work out either and seating was done literally 2 days before the wedding and it was just a nightmare. You’ll get past this…trust me!

  7. I’m right there with you.

    Except for the “a monkey will up and die” part. Haven’t had to deal with that yet, though I’m sure it’s a much more common damper on people’s wedding plans than I would guess.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.