Are you having a seating chart or just letting guest sit where they would like? We are getting married in a rural area and most of our guest are coming from out of state. I’m afraid of making a seating chart and people bringing extra guest or not showing up at all! What are you doing or what did you do at your wedding? If you didn’t have a seating chart how did it go?
We will have a seating chart. I've attended weddings with and without, and typically without is a cluster. It's awkward for guests and couples/families often have to split up or move seats around to fit at tables together. You also have to account for, on average, 20% more seating, chairs, centerpieces, etc. since guests don't seat themselves efficiently.
I highly recommend having a seating chart it makes it so much easier on the guests. Also, if you are having a plated meal your venue will have to know where people are sitting. If you don't assign tables guests then have to try to figure out where to sit which can create a lot of disorganization and take longer for people to be seated. If you have certain people.thst want to sit together they are move liking to move chairs and table settings or you might have people that want to avoid each other which can turn ugly rather quickly. I think doing assigned tables really avoids a lot of extra stress.
We aren't doing a seating chart. It just sounds like one more thing for me to stress over. That being said, there won't be anyone at our wedding that doesn't know others. Most are family, coworkers and close friends. I'm fine with providing extra tables/centerpieces. I think it's much more relaxed to just go in and find a seat. Plus, like you said, we are a little concerned with last minute additions/no shows. We will have a little wiggle room for that as far as catering, but if you do a seating chart, you can't figure in extra people that decide to come last minute. Just my unpopular opinion though.
We didn't do a seating chart and it worked out fine. We did have extra seats (roughly 150 showed and we had 180 seats) but it didn't look bad or anything. People were able to sit with friends/family and we did have a few reserved for VIPs such as bridal party and grandparents.
I couldn't stand the idea of doing a seating chart because there were too many people who didn't RSVP in time for it to benefit us, no matter how many times I asked for their RSVP. It was added stress that was unnecessary so we didn't do it. No complaints from our guests!
We're going to be doing assigned tables and most likely are going to do escort cards, but we'll see. We're still deciding. We just figured that escort cards would be easier to adjust if there are less people attending or any guest troubles appear out of no where.
Definitely do a seating chart! Your guests will appreciate it! I've been to a few with open seating and it is chaos, and one time a girlfriend of a groomsmen was sitting alone, so we invited her to sit with us. It was extremely awkward and scary for her to not know anyone and have to find her own place at the reception.
My plan is to do a seating chart with the exact number of seats for the exact number of guests in our final headcount. If someone brings an uninvited guest, they won't have a seat to sit at. It may be a bit harsh (lol), but it would also be extremely rude on the guest's part to bring someone we didn't invite to our wedding!