by: Lauren

I’m very much a fan of having assigned seating at a large wedding, as I’m sure most event planners are. It curtails a great deal of confusion and awkwardness felt by the guests. I’ve been a guest at a wedding that was sans assigned seating, and I saw tables that were half full and tables that people had pulled chairs up to. It was indeed uncomfortable and a mess.

So, to prevent confusion of the masses, we have escort cards, place cards, and seating chart displays.

Escort cards are usually found in the entrance area of the reception, with the guest’s name and assigned table number (or table name). They can be displayed in a plethora of different and innovative ways.

Reception Seating Options via

Place cards are similar to escort cards, but they are set at the precise place the guest is assigned to. These are commonly used along with escort cards or a seating chart display. When there is a meal option, place cards play a very important role in helping the servers when they serve the meals.

Reception Seating Options via

The seating chart display is my personal favorite. It plays the same role as escort cards, but there is not a tangible object for guests to carry with them. The only drawback is that guests must remember what table they are seated at. It is usually the best idea to display the seating charts right outside of the entrance to where the reception seating is. This option for seating is very economical but can be beautiful as well. Personally, I had a difficult time finding a designer to make my seating chart for me, so I ended up making it on my own. However, seating chart displays are new to the wedding scene, so I hope more designers will be adding them to their repertoire!

Reception Seating Options via

Reception Seating Options via
*Via author’s wedding

And I must confess, this seating chart was one of my absolute favorite elements of the wedding. I actually have it hanging on the wall in our study now, despite my husband’s protests. I am in love with it.

For more information on seating options, check out this post!

I hope these seating options were helpful! Personally, I think the most difficult part of the wedding was assigning seats, but it was also one of the most enjoyable things! Which seating option are you planning on using in your wedding?

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Reception Seating Options via


Founder & Editor at Every Last Detail
Lauren Grove is the editor and owner of Every Last Detail. A clueless bride-turned-wedding planner, Lauren uses her experiences and knowledge to educate and inspire brides all over the world.

3 responses to Reception Seating Options

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  1. Emily L.

    Any advice for brides who also want to make their own seating charts? I love yours, and I’d love to learn how to make my own! Thanks!

    • Lauren

      Thanks Emily! I loved my seating chart- it was a labor of love. I actually taught myself how to use Adobe Illustrator (on a trial version) to be able to create a document that would be large enough when printed large. I found a background vector file on a stock image site, and had a friend of mine put together the basic template of it for me because I had no clue how to use Illustrator. And then I just had it printed at Staples, and they have different options of paper, etc. There are several places on Etsy that you can have them made for you as well- only drawback (which isn’t really a drawback at all) is that you have to know your guests’ seating about 3-4 weeks ahead of time!

  2. liz (a Bride)

    How big is that gold frame and where can you find a frame like that??

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