Coming up with a seating chart for your reception is not only time-consuming, but it can also be stressful and frustrating as you have to take into account who knows who, who dated who, who doesn’t get along with each other, etc. It can begin to feel like your guests’ enjoyment at the reception relies solely on your ability to seat them properly. While it is a frustrating task, there are also a lot of positives to it too so deciding what to do can be difficult. Here are a few things to consider when determining whether or not a seating chart is essential for your wedding.
Caterers need to know where each guest is sitting
You can rule this out if you are serving dinner buffet style or skipping the meal altogether and going for a more hor dourves approach to your reception. However, if you are serving your guests a meal in their seats, knowing who ordered what or who is allergic to what is essential during the serving process. Nowadays people’s diets can be so extreme and every other person is gluten or dairy-free so having this figured out ahead of time will save mass chaos during the reception.
You can make everyone feel included
While your family and close friends are likely to know 80% of the people in attendance, there might be someone from work or your early childhood that you kept up with that knows next to no one aside from yourself. Having a seating chart will ensure that they get seated next to either the one person that they ‘kinda’ know, or next to someone you know that they would love or have a lot in common with. There’s also nothing worse than having to find your own seat in a reception full of strangers.
If your wedding is very small and intimate, you do not need a seating chart as everyone is going to feel extremely comfortable seating themselves and probably already know each other fairly well. If your wedding is absolutely massive with hundreds of people, a seating chart could create mass chaos as everyone searches for their place after you have spent hours arranging the chart. Somewhere in the middle of these two is where a seating chart is more helpful than harmful, so be sure to keep your wedding size in mind when determining whether or not to use one!
You can assign tables
If you aren’t wanting to commit to assigning each and every seat, but still want some sense of order when it comes to the reception then maybe consider assigning tables to certain families and couples that way each person has a place to go but can ultimately choose their own seat. This will keep people organized with half the hassle.
At the end of the day, whether or not you decide to have a seating chart at your reception is really just a matter of personal preference. If you feel like you need a little more organization and don’t mind spending the extra time – go for it! If you still don’t see the need and are already drowning in wedding planning, it’s okay to let it go and just let guests seat themselves.