If you are planning a sit-down dinner at your reception, you will need to assign seats to guests. You don’t necessarily need to have guests assigned at specific seats, but you’ll want to assign them to specific tables. In today’s blog post, you’ll find out how to assign wedding seats, why assigned seating is important, who to ask for guidance, whether guest names should be arranged alphabetically or by table, and more! We’re also sharing a few of our favorite seating charts for weddings to inspire you. Let’s cross this one off the to-do list! Read on to get started…
How to Assign Wedding Seats
Before we show you how to assign wedding seats, let’s talk about why assigned seats is important at a wedding. When a guest attends your wedding, he or she wants to feel welcome. A carefully selected seat lets your guests know you are happy to see them. It is also the first step in properly welcoming your guests (along with these welcome signs so they know they’ve come to the right place)).
When bride-to-be, Melanie, attended an “open seating” reception, she and her plus one had to sit at separate tables because there were no two seats left together. Stacy told us about a wedding she attended for a co-worker, where she ended up at an unofficial ‘all singles’ table because there wasn’t an open seat next to her colleagues. These are just two examples of open seating gone awry, which is why you’ll definitely want to put assigned seats as a high priority. Also keep in mind that when guests are seated at a table with other people they know – or with whom they have things in common – they’ll be more comfortable, they’ll have more fun, and they’re likely to stay at your wedding for a longer period of time. These are all additionally awesome reasons to assign wedding seats.
Now, there’s no guarantee that every wedding chart is perfect. Use your best judgment. Guests can (and will!) mingle at other tables throughout the night. And they’ll be out on the dance floor a majority of the night.
Your seating chart is mostly intended to be used during speeches and dinner. So, give it some thought, but don’t stress over it too much.
4 Easy Steps to Assigning Seats
Here are four easy steps for how to assign wedding seats:
1. Assign seats with paper plates.
YES – paper plates! Grab a pack of paper plates and write each table in the center. Write guests’ names on these. Then, start “assigning” guests at each table. These color-coded stickers are removable, so you can assign wedding seats (and change seats) in an instant. Arrange your plates on the floor and use placeholders to see where the DJ, buffet tables, and head tables will go. Take a photo. Record your completed assigned tables on your computer or in a notebook for later.
2. Ask for help.
Once you’ve completed your assigned seats, ask Mom, Dad, and your in-laws for seating chart guidance, particularly if you get stuck. They may know things you don’t, like not to seat so-and-so next to so-and-so or cousin Sybil may have lots to chat about with cousin Edith. Plus, they’ll have suggestions for open seats and who would fit in best. Parents seem to know everything.
3. Use escort cards or a seating chart to display table assignments.
Escort cards are folded tent cards to instruct guests where to be seated. A seating chart is a large display that has guests’ names written next to their table number and arranged alphabetically. Your table display – whether you use escort cards or a seating chart – should be placed near the entrance of your reception.
4. Make sure your tables are clearly labeled.
Use table names (or table numbers) to identify each table. If you’re using table names, be sure to include a small number, too, so guests can identify it easily. (Need inspiration? Check out these 50+ table name ideas.)
How to Assign Wedding Seats – Do’s and Dont’s
o DO allow guests to pick the seat at his or her table
Unless, of course, you want guests to sit at particular seats. If so, you’ll need place cards, too.
o DO assign closest family members to tables near the head table.
o DON’T arrange names by table.
Instead, arrange guests alphabetically. It is easier (and faster!) for a guest to find his or her name.
o DON’T seat singles at one table.
You’ll make them feel awkward. Instead, seat singles within other tables with similar friends or family members with whom they’ll enjoy conversation.
Now it’s your turn:
Will you assign wedding seats at your reception?
Why or why not? Tell us below in the comments section!