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How To Make A Seating Chart & Table Names For A Special Occasion

Last week I showed you the hand painted program and menu that I made for my niece’s wedding at the end of last summer. Today I have another project to share with you that will make any occasion special and unique.

Photo:  Matt Surette Productions

The wedding was on Cape Cod, where the bride and groom are from, and the reception had the most spectacular view of the ocean. Chad and Angela are boaters (as in, they spend every weekend on their boat, and every night after work they gather up their dogs and go for a sunset cruise) – so a very subtle nautical theme was fitting.


Instead of table numbers, I had the bride and groom come up with a list of places they are fond of, and we labeled the tables with those to make them a little more personal and different. The couple chose a bunch of spots they visit on the boat around the Cape and the Islands.

Other ideas for table names:  streets you’ve lived on, cities or countries you have lived in or traveled to, or any category that might tie into a theme of your event.

DIY seating chart for a wedding or special event using table names instead of numbers.

Excuse some of these photos – right after the wedding my computer crashed and I lost tons of photos I hadn’t yet backed up, so this is from my phone.



ONE • Purchase a seating chart template on Etsy. They are inexpensive and make formatting the chart easy. The specific one I used isn’t available anymore but you can find tons of designs here.

TWO • Modify the template for the amount of tables you have. I also changed the fonts to the ones we used on the programs, menus and invitations and added the compass rose.

THREE • Have the chart printed and mounted onto foam core. I already had an empty frame so sized the chart to fit – the templates come in lots of different sizes. A bit of packing tape on the back held the foam board in the frame just fine.



Mark each table so your guests can easily find their seat. You could do so many cute things with this. We opted to keep this super simple with the names printed on cardstock, so the signs wouldn’t be the focal point of the tables.

Along with the table name I also included the latitude and longitude. This is a fun detail if you are using locations for your table names, even if you aren’t going with a nautical theme. You can look up latitude & longitude for any location here (I used this site for my latitude/longitude sign for our house). 

“The Knob” in the center of our seating chart is this spit of land in Woods Hole on the Cape, where Angela and Chad got engaged. It was also part of the gorgeous view from the reception.

The Knob, Woods Hole, Falmouth, MA


We chose that special spot for their table for two at the wedding.

A sweetheart table for the bride and groom. All the tables at the wedding are labeled with names of special places instead of numbers.

Photo:  Matt Surette Productions

The empty vase on this table was filled with the bride’s bouquet, and the flowers on the back of the bride and groom’s seats also decorated the pews at the church.

Photo:  Matt Surette Productions

The verse we used on the menu at each place setting (Ruth 1:16) is so beautiful for a wedding, and is another subtle tie-in to the compass.

The seating chart and table names can be applied to many different events – showers, anniversary parties, momentous birthdays. If you have a special occasion on the horizon I hope these posts give you some do-able ideas to make it meaningful and beautiful!


In case you missed it….

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