Wedding Details: Open vs. Assigned Reception Seating

Wedding planning is no walk in the park. As things start to wind down as details fall into place, the last thing you want to do is create a guest seating chart for your reception. We realize that it’s a daunting task, so you might start asking the questions “do I really need a seating chart?” While at the end of the day that decision is up to you and your partner, we default to a resounding YES! The degree to which you decide is another step entirely, which we’ll dive into more here today.

So why is some form of seating chart so important? One of the biggest pieces of assigned guest seating at your wedding is organization. Having a seating chart avoids chaos and a mad rush to get a “good seat.” Showing forethought and putting in the effort to consider best seats is also a great way to show your guests you care. If assigned seating seems to inflexible to you, consider escort cards. This is like seating but you assign table numbers versus exact seats. So when you’re just assigning tables, where they sit at the table is entirely up to the guests! The organization is quite necessary, for more reasons than you may realize.

If you opt for open seating, you need to be prepared to rent more seats than you have guests. Certain tables will fill up quickly and you risk guests bringing additional chairs to tables and leaving some empty. This brings back the time old issue of people feeling left out and being left at a table alone, while another table is overflowing with people. It’s best to avoid the drama and just set the tables ahead of time.

If you’re a big organization fan, a full on guest seating chart may be for you! This is the most formal and traditional option, and definitely time consuming, but takes out any variability. You’ll have name cards at each place setting, so instead of assigning tables, it’s the exact seat. We love some good organization, so if you’re feeling inclined to go with this option, you go girl!