How important is assigned seating/seating charts??

posted 3 years ago in Reception
  • poll: How important is a seating plan? 1 is not important at all..5 is EXTEMELY important
    1 : (3 votes)
    6 %
    2 : (3 votes)
    6 %
    3 : (2 votes)
    4 %
    4 : (21 votes)
    40 %
    5 : (24 votes)
    45 %
  • Post # 3
    2449 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    If you’re having a seated dinner, it’s a must. Otherwise your caterer won’t know which meals to bring out to the right person. If you’re doing buffet, I don’t see why you need a seating chart.

    Post # 4
    592 posts
    Busy bee

    If I were a guest at a wedding, I would like to know at which table I am sitting and not have to choose one myself.  I would not necessarily need to know which seat exactly. 

    Post # 5
    676 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    @futuremrsbc:  I don’t plan on having a seating chart because I am having a buffet.    I agree with @atlbride2013:  about absolutely having one for a plated dinner though


    Post # 6
    3699 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    If you don’t have a seating chart, you need to have lots of extra tables/chairs. Say you have one group of six and they all sit at table 1. There’s another group of six who want to sit at table 1 but there aren’t enough seats so they sit at table 2. Then there’s a group of 5. They can’t sit T table 1 or 2, so go to table 3. See where this is going? 

    At weddings I’ve seen with no seating plan, there were tables with lots of empty seats or those that took a bit longer to choose a seat were shafted and endowed up not being able to,sit with people they know/like. 

    Post # 7
    9859 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2014

    in my experience, when people aren’t told where to sit tables end up 75% full with a couple seats empty and then groups of people who know each other get split up.  It’s better to take the time and figure out who should sit together so there’s no one awkwardly looking for a place to sit or couples getting split up because there are only single seats left.

    Assign TABLES at minimum, seats not so important unless your venue/caterer requires it.


    Post # 10
    2476 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa

    @futuremrsbc:  at the very least, assign tables. Just read experiences of some of the bees on this site having been to weddings with no assignment whatsoever. It often results in a high school cafeteria feeling, where those who don’t know many people get stuck at a table alone, while chairs get pulled around to other tables so people can sit with who they want.

    Post # 11
    6985 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Assign tables at least. Otherwise you will end up with 10 guests at one table, 2 at another, families split up, etc. It’s super annoying IMO.

    Post # 12
    142 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I’m having a buffet and not assigning tables or seats. I’ve been to weddings like this before and thought it worked out just fine. Everyone should be adults and be able to sit wherever there is room.  Unless you know you are inviting a lot of single guests who don’t know anyone else, I wouldn’t be concerned about it. Like you, I didn’t want to take on the extra job/stress of telling grown folks where to Sit.  Your guests will get to sit with other people they know as well as meet new people. That’s my opinion. 

    EDIT: also, the only way you end up with 10 people at one table and 2 at another is if you have a lot of extra tables/seats. There’s no reason to do that. If a group of 8 has to be split into 2 groups of 4, big deal. Once the hour it takes to eat dinner is over, your guests will be able to move around and mingle and hang out with their friends. 


    Post # 13
    1871 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    I had a buffet dinner and I still did seating assignments. I thought table assignments were important because I have been at receptions where it is awkward to look for a table and people seem to wander around longer than when they have a seat to go to. I was at one wedding in particular where some older relatives had to sit at a table with college aged guests. This might not be an issue for you but it was for me.

    I found that making the table assignments was quite easy there were just a few odd balls in the mix 🙂 once you have a table assignment it isnt too difficult to pick a seat for them as well. I really only did this because I like how place cards look.  

    Post # 14
    595 posts
    Busy bee

    I completely agree with Westwood and gingerkitten:  Assigning tables (but not individual seats) helps everyone feel more comfortable.  The last guests to arrive may be unable to sit with even one person they know if there are only random seats remaining.  Our venue can do 8 – 10 guests per table, so we are varying that to include the appropriate family units together.  It also allows you to create distance between guests who may need it – feuding family members, etc.  Our groom’s family has some guests who will be offended that alcohol is being served, so they will be placed as far from the bar as possible.  I found very affordable place cards at Joann Crafts and bought them half price with coupons over a couple of months.  I won’t print them until closer to the wedding, and I’ll include multiple guests per card, i.e. ” John and Sally Smith, Table 8″ or “The John Smith Family, Table 4” for those with kids.  To manage RSVPs as they come in, I created an Excel spreadsheet with a column for each table number, and ten rows across (max of 10 at our tables.)  I’ll rely on the groom’s mom to help me assign their guests as their responses come in, and the bride and groom will group their friends.  A lot of brides prefer to draw a big floorplan and use sticky notes to move names around until they are happy with the layout.  Any method that works for you is the “right” method!  Good luck!

    Post # 15
    1503 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    I think no assigned seating would be total chaos. 

    Post # 16
    411 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I am having a buffet but I still am having assigned seating. We have groups of people who only know each other. I would not want them to seat them selfs and have someone being left out and sitting with strangers. It honestly wasnt too difficult to make a chart and name cards.

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