Wedding Reception Seating 101

Weddings

April 15, 2021

Are you overwhelmed at the thought of making seating arrangements for your wedding?

Many couples loathe this task. You are not alone! To help guide you in this process, we’re discussing the three most common seating styles at

south eden plantation
Photograph by Amber Brogdon Photography | South EdenPlantation in Thomasville, Georgia

What is a seating chart? A seating chart is a way to visualize where people will sit in given room or during an event.  At any large gathering such as wedding,  it’s usually a good idea to have a some type of formal seating.  

By the end of this blog post, you will feel ready to tackle your seating chart without hesitation!

ASSIGNED SEATS

If you have opted to have a plated dinner, assigned seats are a must.  Provide a seating chart to inform your guests of their table number and have escort cards arranged on the table for each assigned chair.  Escort cards at each place setting will ensure catering staff know where to deliver the proper food selections.  Assigned seats also work well for social situations.  

ASSIGNED TABLES

Although seating charts are not mandatory for family-style or buffet dinners they do tend to make things simpler.  Assigning guests to a table is a great way to ensure tables are filled to capacity.  Keep in mind the size and shape table, this will determine how many guests can fit comfortably.  Round tables are more traditional and offer more leg room while rectangular tables hold more guests.  

UNASSIGNED SEATING

While it’s your wedding day, we HIGHLY recommend not skipping some type of seating arrangements.  Your guests will thank you. Taking the time to create a seating chart will eliminate any confusion.  Wedding guests often appreciate having a place to go with family & friends that they know. Keep in mind that without a seating chart, you absolutely need to provide 15 to 20% more tables and chairs than invited guests.  Since people often don’t want to sit with people they don’t know, they will spread out among more tables. Even though a table can hold up to eight guests, more likely than not many tables will have no more than 4 or 5 individuals.

Where should the seating chart be placed? Place the seating chart at your cocktail hour so guests have plenty of time to look for their assigned seat or table assignment. Remember these tips in creating your unique seating chart. 

  1. Make it legible. Choose a clear and easy to read font that is large enough to read from a distance so multiple guests can search for their names at once. 
  2. Keep it organized.  Create a seating chart in which a guest can easily pinpoint their name.  Place names in alphabetical order and/or group by table number.
  3. Be creative. Since your seating chart will be a visual element, there are endless possibilities for your chart display. We have seen numerous seating charts- from hanging frames, mirrors, oversized acrylic signs, and much more!

It’s never to early to begin thinking about possible seating arrangements.  Start by making a rough draft while waiting for your RSVPs to come back. Once all your RSVPs are back than you can make small adjustments finalizing everything a few weeks before the wedding. Leaving you plenty of time before the big day to work out the details.  

Happy Planning! 

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