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Kristine
Just Said Yes June 2022

Seating chart and assigned seating?

Kristine, on September 21, 2020 at 6:25 PM Posted in Wedding Reception 0 19
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We are having a small, 50-person wedding. Recently, it was brought to our attention that we should have a seating chart because there might be some confusion as to who sits at the head/family table. While my fiance and I spent some time over the weekend sorting out which family members sit where he asked, is it proper to tell people where to sit vs. just putting the guests at specific tables and letting them figure out what seats to sit in?
I’ve never been to a wedding with a seating chart, so this is new to me.

19 Comments

Latest activity by Meghan, on September 22, 2020 at 9:11 AM
  • Kelsey
    VIP September 2020
    Kelsey ·
    • Flag
    I would at least assign tables. We went to my cousins wedding this weekend and they had open seating. It was a disaster and seemed unorganized. I prefer organized seating but that's more my preference.
    • Reply
  • Chrysta
    Rockstar November 2021
    Chrysta Online ·
    • Flag
    Definitely have to agree with the advice you were given, having a seating chart makes things much easier for both you and the guests. As far as assigning seats vs assigning tables, that is completely up to you & your fiancé! Personally, I would choose to just assign tables, because it allows people to sit where they want at the table, plus it is a lot less work for you LOL
    • Reply
  • Kimberly
    Expert October 2020
    Kimberly ·
    • Flag
    If you do assigned seating, you’ll need escort cards or some kind of board with table/seat assignments for people to check at the entrance of the reception hall, as well as place cards in the assigned place setting for each persons.


    Assigned tables are easier because all you have to do is the first part of what was described above without the second step of having to put name assignments on each seat.
    • Reply
  • A
    Expert September 2020
    Alli ·
    • Flag
    I think assigning tables would be effective and efficient!
    Best wishes.
    • Reply
  • L
    Rockstar July 2022
    Lisa ·
    • Flag
    I think table assignments would be better, instead of specific seats at the table. People can decide who they want to sit by at the table they are assigned to.
    • Reply
  • Jana
    Master October 2022
    Jana ·
    • Flag
    Any guest count where they will be sitting down to eat lunch or dinner that that is not a cake reception should have a seating arrangement for peace of mind.


    Pick groups of 8-10 depending on spacing. Assign them to a table and let them pick the seat.
    If guests are picking their meal beforehand, make the seating cards color coded for each person. Pretending your colors are pink red and cream, a pink card would be for chicken, red for steak and cream for vegan. You make a list for the caterer of how many of each per table and what colors symbolize so waiters can do everything quickly with just a glance at the table.
    • Reply
  • Hanna
    Super June 2019
    Hanna ·
    • Flag

    We assigned tables and it worked out very well!

    • Reply
  • Molly
    Devoted August 2021
    Molly ·
    • Flag
    I love assigned tables and that's what we're going to do! Open seating is chaotic!


    I've really only heard of assigned seating if it was a plated meal. And even then if your guests have color-coded escort cards, they can bring them to their tables!
    • Reply
  • Jana
    Master October 2022
    Jana ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    It should be done for buffets and stations as well. Guests are still sitting to eat regardless of how it's served and will be separated from spouses otherwise if there is open searing.


    The only time open seating works is for a mid afternoon cake and coffee reception.
    • Reply
  • Molly
    Devoted August 2021
    Molly ·
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    I think you misunderstood what I typed. I was saying I only hear of assigned seating for player dinner while there are assigned tables at the weddings I go to that are buffet and stations.
    • Reply
  • Jana
    Master October 2022
    Jana ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I understood that. Many people however do think that buffets, etc should be free for all seating since there are no waiters.
    • Reply
  • Y
    Dedicated January 2021
    Yvonne ·
    • Flag

    Yes, I agree with many others - assign the tables. You probably don't need to assign the seats within the table.

    • Reply
  • Molly
    Devoted August 2021
    Molly ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    But that wasn't what I was saying. I said in my comment that I love assigned tables and that open seating is chaotic. So I'm not sure why you're replying to me. We agree that everyone needs seating and open seating doesn't work.
    • Reply
  • Melle
    Rockstar June 2019
    Melle ·
    • Flag
    Assigned tables is good enough
    • Reply
  • Yasmine
    Rockstar October 2020
    Yasmine ·
    • Flag
    I think assigned tables will work just fine
    • Reply
  • Kia
    Dedicated September 2021
    Kia ·
    • Flag
    Assigned tables for sure. I went to a wedding that didn’t have one last year and it was a sh*tshow. The bride and grooms highschool friends took over the tables by the head table forcing the mother of the groom to sit in the back with random people. No bueno.
    • Reply
  • Jeanette
    Expert July 2021
    Jeanette ·
    • Flag
    We are also having a small wedding (not because of COVID) and will do a seating chart with table numbers, then guests find their seats at the table themselves. I think for a small wedding this is especially appropriate. You know everybody fits and won't be left without a table, but you don't need to micromanage and stress about the details. 😊
    • Reply
  • Bo Miller
    Expert December 2020
    Bo Miller ·
    • Flag

    We are planning on doing assigned tables and seats because each seat will have a name card with a favor at it for the person and then a coloring/activity book and crayons for the kids. Once at the table the guest are more than welcome to move around and swap seats we just figured that would be the easiest way to get the favor to all of the guest and that the kids have something to do. We will have a board stating where everyone's table is and then once at the table they will see their names on the name cards! Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • Meghan
    Rockstar October 2019
    Meghan ·
    • Flag
    You can do either. However, just assigning a table is sufficient. We did a seating chart instead of assigned seating and it worked out great.
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