The Pros and Cons of Wedding Seating Charts

Find out if you should keep this task on your to-do list.

Wedding planning tends to come with a hefty to-do list, so it’s not surprising that couples may try to figure out what they can skip. After all, custom ceremony programs seem a lot less important when you’re busy chasing down late RSVP cards and getting last-minute alterations on your bridal gown. One task you might be questioning is whether or not you need to make seating or table assignments for your guests. You may be able to outsource the physical seating chart or escort cards, but the couple getting married (with some help from their families) is typically responsible for figuring out who goes where. Before you make a decision on keeping this task on your to-do list, we recommend going over the pros and cons below. 

formal wedding guests seating at statehouse wedding reception with columns
Photo by Karlisch Photography; Floral Design by HeatherLily Inc.

Pros

- No one feels left out. Forgoing table assignments can have guests – particularly those who attended solo – looking around your reception space like a new kid in the cafeteria. Providing a place for everyone can reduce the social anxiety of your loved ones. 

- Smoother transition to the reception. While there can be some bottlenecking around a seating chart or table of escort cards, you won’t have to worry about friends and family scrambling around and moving chairs so everyone can sit together. 

- Decreases potential drama. Without assignments, there’s always a chance that your two friends who just broke up get stuck together at the same table, rather than across the room from each other as you might have hoped. 

Cons

- It takes time and effort. Even if you’re just sticking to table assignments and not individual seats, creating a seating chart is a bit like a puzzle, with all the social circles that have to be considered. We admit it’s not easy!

- Some guests might not like their assignment. No matter how hard you try, not everyone will get placed with the people they were hoping to spend time with during dinner.

- Last-minute attendance changes will be clear. Inevitably there will be an unexpected plus one or someone who surprises you by not showing up. Premade place cards or seating charts will make this more obvious. 

For more ideas, discover how to get inspiration from styled shoots and what you should do the week of your wedding

Authored by: Emily Lasnier