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Seating Charts: Assigning Seats vs. Assigning Tables

Jen & Dan | Wedding Planners in RI

So you’ve decided to create a seating chart (if you’re still on the fence read this post), and now you need to decide on assigning your guests to a table, or assigning them to an individual seat. Before we jump into some reasons for each, lets get clear on the vocab:

  • Assigned Tables: assigning each guest to a specific table, but they can choose whichever seat they would like at that table.
  • Assigned Seats: assigning each guest to a specific table AND a specific seat at that table.
  • Escort Cards/Objects/Chart: it might be a card, or a rock, or a giant chalkboard. Regardless it is the way people find which table they are assigned to.
  • Place cards: these cards are set on the table at each seat, letting people know which seat they are assigned to.

Now that we’ve got those sorted out, let’s talk about assigning seats. These days it is more common for events to have assigned tables, not assigned seats. It gives guests more flexibility to decide who they sit next to and eliminates having to create or purchase place cards.

That’s not to say that assigning seats is unnecessary. Here are a few reasons to do assigned seats at your next event:

  1. The caterer needs them for guest’s meal choice – Depending on your caterer, they may require a list of each guest’s meal choice and their seating location. So may also require each place card to be marked with the guest’s meal choice.
  2. Your event is black tie – including seating assignments is more common at formal, black tie events.
  3. Guests who don’t know each other well – if you have a lot of guests that do not know each other well, or are planning a gala, fundraiser or networking event, assigned seats can be helpful. It gives you a chance to seat guests with others who share common interests.

It must be time for a poll!



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