You may or may not know that one of my favorite wedding details revolves around assigned seating. Unique escort card displays are my absolute favorite thing, with seating charts coming in a close second. But here’s the thing… there’s this MISTAKE that everyone is making when it comes to how to present assigned seating…
Needless to say, since this is my favorite kind of wedding detail, I pay special attention to assigned seating details. And I’ve been noticing that there’s one thing about these types of details that a lot of people are doing all wrong…
ORGANIZING BY TABLE NUMBER! <– DON’T DO IT!
I know what you’re thinking… “But it looks prettier when you arrange things by Table Number.” Yes, I know, and I do agree.
Having been in your place before, assigning guests to tables, I know that you do most certainly think of your guests and their assigned seats in terms of table numbers. “Aunt Susie is at Table 3, and so Uncle John needs to be at that table too. But we don’t want to put Cousin Joe close to them because they had a falling out, so he needs to go across the room at Table 10.” And I know that it’s easier to just take your list of guests assigned by table and arrange things that way for your seating display- but don’t do it.
The whole point of having assigned seating is to take the guess work out of things for your guests.
And I’m here to tell you that arranging your escort cards or seating chart by table number does NOT help your guests in any way, shape, or form. (Unless you only have two tables.)
So how exactly can you help your guests can find their seats in an orderly fashion with your assigned seating display?
To further illustrate the need for things to be alphabetical order when it comes to your seating, let’s think of things this way:
You are a guest at a wedding. You walk up to the escort display, and look for your name. Knowing that the normal way for names to be arranged is by alphabet, you take a look at all of the names and determine how they are displayed. You see that the first few names all have a last name that begin with A, so you determine it’s in alphabetical order by last name. You think of your last name, think of where that letter falls in the alphabet, and find your name and what table you are seated at.
By Table Number
You are a guest at a wedding. You walk up to the escort display, and look for your name. Knowing that the normal way for names to be arranged is by alphabet, you take a look at all of the names and determine how they are displayed. You see that names are arranged by table number, with no rhyme or reason. As a guest, you are not aware of what table you are assigned to. The only information you do know is your name. And now you must scan through all of the names associated with every table until you find your name.
As you are considering the above examples, also consider the fact that there are multiple guests behind you, waiting to also find their names and assigned table. Often times, an escort display is at the entry to the wedding reception. We all know that weddings run on a schedule and typically you have a limited amount of time for your wedding reception. Having your escort display organized in a less than logical manner will create a bottleneck for guests entering your wedding reception, and therefore cause a delay for your whole wedding.
Assigned seating should ALWAYS be displayed in alphabetical order!
And with that, hopefully now you see that the way you display your assigned seating is more than just a display. It plays an important role in your wedding and how the evening will pan out. So please, for the love of wedding details and organization, display your assigned seating in alphabetical order!
More posts about assigned seating that will be helpful:
A version of this post was originally published in 2016. It has since been updated and revamped for current publication.