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What's Up Weddings

Confessions of a Seating Chart Maker

Jun 21, 2012 09:15PM ● By Anonymous

There is an episode of Friends (and what else would girls in my generation compare real life to?) in which Monica and Chandler are preparing for their big day, and Monica is finishing up their seating chart. She has a big white board with little pins; the red pins are her guests, and the blue pins are Chandler's, and they're all perfectly arranged. 

Wouldn't you believe I went out and bought posterboard (going to trade it in for a large piece of Styrofoam soon), and started to create a hypothetical seating chart just about as soon as we got engaged? I am inexplicably excited about arranging it.

I appreciate the relaxed, sit-and-mingle-as-you-please approach to doing without a seating chart. But I have to admit, I experience a certain level of anxiety when I'm at a wedding with several friends, as to where we're each going to sit. How many seats will be at a table? How will we split up? What if there aren't any empty tables? Will my fiancé and I have to instead take the last two seats at a table of Uncle Bobs and Great Aunt Lucys? It wouldn't be a big deal, and really, I know that. But I'm at ease when I see our names attached to a table number. A little sigh of relief, if you will. And even if Uncle Bob and Great Aunt Lucy are at my assigned table, it'd be a welcomed mandate, beyond my control. I'd ask them about their travels and breathe easy. I can't help it. 

So on one hand, that's a reason for a seating chart. Because if I didn't have one, I'd find some time to worry that my family wasn't going to get a table together, or my friends were going to be split up awkwardly. The dynamic at each table would be weird and the energy would suffer. It'd be madness, I tell you. It's a long shot--worries of the first world, I know, problems for a girl lucky enough to have few problems, I'm aware. And if I knew what was good for me, I'd probably leave my reasoning to that. But, friends, it gets worse.

We have a slew of amazing unattached friends. And let's be serious: my Type A personality is nothing if it's not match making. 

My fiancé HATES it. (Apparently, this isn't my own romantic comedy.) And now that they're reading it, I'm sure my friends' eyes will be rolling. They might stage a revolt, Mr. Right leading the way. My seating chart could be turned into potpourri. Nothing but the scattered remains of my matching-making dreams met by a ruthless bridal party and a groom with a lawnmower. Anarchy. I'm not really sure. But hear me out.

I am having a blast putting his single friends at tables with my single friends. I'm not talking specific pairing of people. I won't even make it boy-girl-boy-girl-boy-girl, relax. Just tables that might casually host bachelors and bachelorettes of similar interests. I'm not splitting up friends, and if I hadn't blogged about it, I doubt anyone would have even noticed. (Let me just point out, fellow Friends fans, if Monica had thought about it, she could have saved Ross a lot of trouble in meeting Mona. I'm not about to let that happen to my sweet friends.)

Let's just say that if two of my favorite people hit it off at their table, the seating chart will be glorified and I will be proud. And if love just happens to blossom, would that be so bad? It would not. (I'm a romantic--a daydreamer, if you will--what can I say?)

If love doesn't blossom, so be it--I'm sure (I hope) everyone will have a good time; no harm, no foul. But if it does bloom, Mr. Right can apologize for ridiculing my crazy later, and our friends can thank me in their wedding toasts, err, I mean, later. 

And I'll trademark cute seating charts.