The sticky situation: deciding who sits where at your wedding reception. Naturally you want to make everyone happy, and with a little tactic, you absolutely can! We have laid out some seating assignment advice just for you to make it much easier:
Why a formal seating plan?
Assigned seating arrangements at wedding receptions decrease the disorganization of the transition from cocktail hour into the main dining room. It gets rid of guests’ anxiety of trying to figure out where to sit and making sure they get to sit with their friends or date. When hosting a plated dinner with entrée choices, it is 100% necessary in order to ensure that the guests easily receive their preferred food item. You will most likely encounter guests who have particular food allergies, and arranged seating helps avoid the possibility of a bad food reaction as well.
Why not a formal seating plan?
If you are hosting food stations or a buffet dinner, you do not need assigned seating. It may be your guests’ cup of tea to sit wherever they would like, and that is completely great! This especially helps the flow when everyone is making their plate. When choosing this option, just make sure to have a couple tables reserved for the bridal party and immediate family members.
Remember: The bridal party consists of the bridesmaids, groomsmen, bride, and groom. The bride and groom typically sit at the head of the bridal party table, with the best man of the bride’s left and the maid of honor at the groom’s right. That is, of course, if you choose to not have a sweetheart table! – another thing that you need to take into consideration.
Escort Cards, Place Cards, or Seating Chart?
Escort Cards: These usually contain the guest’s name on the outside and have the assigned table number within. Additional place cards await each guest at their assigned table to guide them to their seat.
Place Cards: You may use place cards along with escort cards or use them alone. If using them alone, they can be displayed near the reception area in alphabetical order, including the guest’s name and table number. Once they get to their specific table, they place the card on the seat they have chosen.
Seating Chart: Seating charts are a large display (typically framed) that list the guest’s name alphabetically along with their designated table. Place cards can be used at their assigned table as well if you prefer. It is important to have the seating chart noticeably big and legible in order to push a smooth transition into dinner. We recommend using them along with the escort card so there isn’t any confusion when selecting their seat and receiving their entrée.
A few seating arrangement ideas that we loved and you may too!