Assigned seating. I’m sure it is not the number one thing on a bride’s mind, but it is definitely a topic worth reviewing. There are several different options for assigned seating: assigned tables, assigned tables & seats, or unassigned seating. Sometimes brides do unassigned seating because there aren’t enough seats for every guests or it is a cocktail-style reception where there are hardly any seats to begin with. I’m going to weigh in on the pros and cons to each and my opinion on the best way to go for your reception.
You really should only use unassigned seating when you do not have enough seats for all of your guests or when you have a cocktail style reception. Many guests, especially if they are not close friends with the couple, find it a little scary and confusing when it comes to finding their seat as they aren’t sure who should sit where. If you decide not to have enough seats for your guests, you need to have about half of the seats you would normally have. For example, don’t have seats for everyone except 10-20 guests, that is just plain rude! Sorry–but it is!
This is my favorite option because it allows guests to find their table, put their purse/camera/sweater down and have a place to come back to all night. Once a floor plan is created (or you create on on weddingwire.com or theknot.com) you can assign guests to tables. Your guests will feel included and will have a place to come back to when they’ve danced too much. This option is great for buffet-style, family style or heavy appetizers.
Assigned Tables and Seats:
This option is best for plated dinners. Some brides choose to have plated dinners so each guests know what he/she is eating. If you are doing a plated dinner, make sure you have an escort card (to tell guests where to sit) and a seating card (telling guests what seat they will be sitting at the table) that has a clearly defined food selection so the caterer may see what food item they will be serving the guest.
My weigh in: go with assigned tables so your guests know where they sit!