Seating arrangements for dinner at your wedding reception may seem like a small detail but it’s something you should decide early on. You’ll be executing your seating plan much closer to the wedding date since you need to have your final guest count in. That’s why seating arrangements sometimes gets pushed aside. It can take a decent amount of time and effort and when you’re down to the wire 2 weeks out from your wedding and it’s easy to say “who cares, just let them sit wherever they want?”
Below I’ll outline your 3 options and what they each entail so that you can pick what’s best for you and your wedding!
A) Open Seating – This works well for a really casual wedding that isn’t too large in size. A couple of things to think about – 1. You may want to at least reserve seats for the Bride/Groom, Wedding Party and Immediate Family. They’ll be taking pictures after the ceremony and may not have a place to sit together when the get to the reception. 2. If you’re going with open seating be sure to put a sign up that tells the guests to sit wherever they would like so that there is no confusion and they know that this actually is your plan.
B) Assigned Tables – Having assigned tables but letting the guests pick their seats at the table works for the majority of weddings. It gives guests some structure but they still have the freedom to sit by whoever they want at the table. It’s easier to deal with last minute changes to the guest list if you go with assigned tables than it is if you actually assign seats. My number 1 tip is to make sure the assignments/escort cards are easy to get to, easy to read and in alphabetical order so that when the guests are finding their table there isn’t a traffic jam.
C) Assigned Seats – A more formal option that definitely sets the tone for the evening. Just be prepared to make changes to your escort cards and place cards right up to the day before your wedding. Also make sure that your event staff and or wedding planner knows ahead of time that there will be assigned seats. It takes a while to get all the cards at the right seats so they need to account for that in their set up timeline. Also just make sure there are a few extra blank cards in case you forget someone or someone “god forbid” brings a plus one that you didn’t know about.