It’s Thursday, which of course at ELD means lots of fun tips! :) I’ve seen and heard a few things lately regarding assigned seating and so I thought I would touch on some seating basics today! (Wow do I sound like a teacher? Sorry!) Ready class? ;)
1. Assigned seating is awesome. I love it. It helps move the whole wedding along- guests find their name with their assigned table, find their table, sit down, and the reception begins! No dawdling, no looking for where someone else is sitting, no pulling chairs from one table to overfill another table. (Ever been to a movie where there are tons of single seats because people don’t sit right next to each other? Yep. That’s what it’s like.) It all just flows wonderfully when people don’t have to think about where they’re sitting. And chances are they’re probably already a little tipsy, so the less thinking, the better. ;)
2. Assigned seating is highly recommended if you have one of the following:
- More than 75 guests
- More than 5/6 tables
- A plated meal
- Long “feasting” or “family-style” tables
Yep, I understand that that should be just about everyone’s wedding. Because that’s how it is most of the time. Sometimes if the style of your wedding is a little different from the norm you can get away with not having assigned seating- maybe if it’s a cocktail-style reception or more of a leisurely buffet/eat whenever you want reception. I’m all for doing weddings differently, but doing weddings unorganized and chaotic, yeah, not so much. ;)
Think of it this way- if you’re having more seats than you have people, then it’s not that big of a deal. But if you have you an exact number of seats for your guests, then some problems could arise if you don’t have assigned seating. Also refer to above movie theater comment in #1.
Photo by Shay Cochrane Photography
3. So you’ve come to grips with the fact that you have to do assigned seating, and now here’s the fun part! Deciding how to tell your guests where they’re sitting! The absolute number one rule for this is ALPHABETIZE! I thought that it was common sense, but I’ve seen things lately that have proven otherwise. The whole point of assigned seating is to help things move along, and it’s so much harder for guests to find their name amongst tons of other names that are out of order. So just remember- alphabetize all of the names (by last name)!
- Escort cards: The most common way to do seating. Ugh, they even have escort cards for sale at Michael’s (don’t buy them! bleh!). If you’re going to go with escort cards, do me a favor and at least have their colors coordinate with your wedding. A really easy escort card that I like is different patterns of paper (most likely scrapbook paper) with guest names on it. A fun twist for escort cards is to attach them to your favor or a little piece of decor that ties in with your wedding’s style. That’s my favorite thing to do. :)
- Seating chart: Depending on how you do it, the chart could be a little less labor-intensive than escort cards are. I love seating charts- I still have mine in my office! :) All I’m going to say is please please please don’t list your guests’ names by table number. I’ve seen it way too much lately and it breaks my heart. The same rule applies to seating charts- alphabetical by last name!
Here are some old posts (beware of messed up layouts and my newbie writing style) that I did about seating that you could turn to for ideas as well:
I’ll get into more specifics about the individual seating choices in another 5 Things post, but for now this should do. :)
4. The process for actually assigning seats to your guests is brutal. I’m not going to lie. It sucks. And it’s a team effort. You have to work with your fiance, parents, best friend, etc to figure it all out. When you start out, you will be very confused. Lots of names, only so many spots at so many tables- it’s like a darn mathematics word problem. But with a little help from other brains and a good system, you’ll get it done. It actually becomes sort of like a game. No worries. :)
5. Guests don’t care if they have an assigned seat. You’ll think they do, but they don’t. Just about every other wedding they’ve ever been to has had assigned seating. You’re not the first one to have to do it. And besides, all they sit down for is to eat dinner, unless they’re a fuddy-duddy and aren’t up moving and shaking all night- in which case they’ll probably leave right after you cut the cake anyways!
Yep, and yet again I’ve written a novel for Thursday Tips. Sorry guys, I try to keep these short and to the point, but there’s just so much! But now I want to know what you are doing for your seating! Assigned, free-for-all, escort cards, seating chart, something crazy? Tell me! And if you have any questions, don’t forget that you can ask here! :)