Pros & Cons: Having a Seating Chart

The perks and drawbacks of providing guests with table or seating assignments.

Pros & Cons: Having a Seating Chart

Photo: EDLT Photo

Before your wedding, you and your partner have to take care of a fair amount of logistical points with your vendors – contracts, tastings, fittings, payments, and more. Additionally, you have your own set of tasks to check off your personal list, such as selecting your wedding party and wording your invitations. With all of the added stresses of organizing your big day on top of living your daily life, it’s likely that you’re looking for a way to reduce the amount of wedding-related work where you can. As you go down the list, you may come across “seating chart” or “seating assignments” and pause to ponder whether or not it’s necessary. To help you make that decision, we’ve put together a short list to break down the concept.


-   There won’t be any scrambling or extra confusion. With those who have been to weddings before, it’s likely they’re familiar with the idea of either assigned seats or tables – they may be looking for the chart. Of course, even if guests are not seeking it out, there’s bound to be a bit of a traffic jam with people trying to find a table closest to the buffet or the dance floor. Additionally, without place cards, seats can easily be taken from those who have temporarily left their chair to use the restroom, get food and drink, or dance, which may cause issues between guests.

-   Everyone will get to sit next to the people with which they came. One of the main complaints from attendees of assignment-less events is that they were separated from their partner or friends due to lack of open seats. When guests are free to choose their table, many will pull chairs from other places if they don’t get a seat next to friends automatically, leaving an open space at the first table. Things can get confusing and upsetting pretty quickly – you wouldn’t want to split up a couple during your own celebration of love, would you? With a seating plan, pairs won’t be separated and chairs should stay where they were meant to be.

-   It’s an extra décor element to show off your creativity. You have a plethora of options when it comes to conveying your seating assignments: you can either do a physical chart with corresponding place cards at each setting or present a table of escort cards to guide your guests. You don’t have to assign actual seats – it’s perfectly acceptable, and sometimes easier for all involved, to simply assign tables to your guests. Additionally, you can use the seating chart to show off your wedding motif that much more – use mirrors, makeshift trees, and more to make the experience just a touch more fun. 


-   You really should make it. Truly, the only downside to this element is the time you must spend on making it – and, of course, the extra expense in its display. Though many wedding movies and TV shows have made the process out to be daunting and incredibly time-consuming, it will likely be much easier than you think – especially if, as mentioned above, you simply assign tables and not individual seats. Even if you’re having a smaller wedding, it’s worth the effort to ensure your reception runs smoothly from the very beginning. Yes; it is another logistic you must dedicate some time to, and you’ll likely have to work with your partner to be sure you’ve included everyone and that all social relationships and issues between guests have been addressed, but in the end, it will bring you further peace of mind during your celebration.

See unique laser-cut elements to include in your wedding, find out how to use picture frames in your décor, and discover unique seating styles for your reception.

Opening photo by EDLT Photo