Getting Creative with a U-Shaped Seating Chart
Last month I had the opportunity to work on a seating chart that was unique and challenging. 2020 changed the wedding plans of many. If it didn't cancel events altogether, it drastically reduced the guest lists. This bride had just a handful of people to place, and with that came the opportunity to arrange the tables in a way that allowed everyone to socialize without having to have too many people clustered together at tables.
When I get an inquiry to do a seating chart I don't think twice before saying yes. I've done so many, I'm always confident that I will be able to design their chalkboard to be beautiful, clear, and functional for their guests. This inquiry was no different, until she sent me the seating chart.
The tables were arranged in an upside down U shape, with the bride and groom in the middle. The board I was working with was a good size, but I wanted to be sure it would still be pretty while also getting the job done of showing people their seats at the table. There was no inspiration on Pinterest that had this unique shape, so it was up to me & the bride to get creative and design something perfect. I had never done an arrangement like this, and it made me nervous because I only ever want to make sure my clients, especially brides, are 100% happy & in love with what they take home.
The bride sent her requests for heading, subheading, date, & wedding hashtag, as well as some samples of their other wedding details for style, and I got to work. I always do digital mock ups of wedding boards first - that lovely "undo" button makes editing a breeze, so much easier than erasing chalk marker! The first design I sent, I used a simple thin line to suggest the table. I kept names evenly sized and straight across with monoline script. I mixed calligraphy & bold lettering in the headings and utilized the empty space between the tables to add the date and their custom hashtag.
This technically checked all the boxes of what the seating chart needed to say and do. The best part was, once the bride saw it on the board, inspiration really got going and she had suggestions for adding details that would really integrate the board into their wedding. It made me feel confident that we were going to make something amazing when she became so inspired.
She suggested adding some pheasants or pheasant feathers, making actual rectangles for the tables so the table breaks would be obvious, using dots to ensure people would recognize their precise seats, writing the names at a slight angle, and adding some symbols for where she and her hubby would be seated.
I actually had pheasant feathers at my house already, so I used them as reference and added the design elements she requested. I felt the boldness of the feathers threw off the balance a bit, so I moved the headings to the right to see what she thought. I also brought the date and hashtag to the bottom to balance where one side of tables was shorter than the other, and moved "your seat awaits" to the center. We decided on linked rings for the bride and groom seats.
We were getting closer but it still needed a couple tweaks. She sent me some sample pieces of the feathers mixed with greenery, and from there we got our final look.
I moved the headings back to the center, flocked the top corners with simple feather and vine illustrations. The looseness of the lines on the feathers and leaves really softened the look of the board and gave it the perfect accent for an October wedding.
We had arrived! She loved it, I loved it, and it tied in perfectly with the other elements of their wedding details. It had an Autumn feeling with the feathers and foliage, the seating chart was clear, the design was balanced, and it had all the little touches that the bride originally wanted.