When planning your wedding, one thing couples tend to struggle with is the seating chart. Where to seat everyone can be a daunting task. Not only that, it’s not the most fun activity. Let’s face it, you’d rather be tasting wedding cakes or perusing bridal magazines than making a seating chart. The good thing about seating charts is that you, as a couple, can decide whether or not to have one.
Here are some pros and cons of seating charts that can help you decide if seating charts are for you:
Pro: Everyone has a place
Con: Guests do what they want
Pro: Mixes it up
Con: What about plus ones?
Pro: No empty tables, prevents uninvited guests
Con: No empty tables, no margin for error
There is nothing worse than being a guest at a wedding where you only know the bride and/or groom. Of course you would never want to miss their big day, but they are super busy with the ceremony and hundreds of other guests to hang out with you all night. With a seating chart, your guests won’t have to feel this way.
If you do it right, your seating chart will have your single guests seated together. Tip: make sure to have at least one social butterfly at the singles table to engage the others in conversation and to get them out on the dance floor.
Another plus to a seating chart is making everyone feel thought of. Your dad’s cousin may feel that they should be included at the “family only” reserved table (and maybe they are) but it’s hard to navigate on your own.
The girlfriend of the best man always has a hard time finding where to sit. Is there a place for her at the wedding party’s table? A seating chart takes all the guesswork out of it.
Some guests may view your meticulously planned seating chart as merely a suggestion. Of course you want your guests to mingle. But when the tables suddenly have extra chairs at them because people take it upon themselves to squeeze in with their friends it can get a bit chaotic.
Some couples would rather let their friends and family choose for themselves where to sit for the reception. And some couples don’t want to do all the work for people just to ignore it. It all depends on the guests.
Maybe you remember your 8th grade dance parties, with all the boys on one side and all the girls on the other. Your wedding doesn’t have to be that way, with all of the bride’s guests on one side and the groom’s on the other. Plus, there may be family members on one side that are better not seated near each other and you need to mix it up. It is okay to seat your boss with your future spouse’s college roommate, if you think they would hit it off and have a great time. They normally wouldn’t meet, so this is your chance to host your honored guests and make for the best reception possible.
Most wedding invitations are addressed to a couple or family and have a place on the RSVP for how many guests will be attending. Is everyone bringing a plus one? If some dates fall through or your cousin finds a sitter for her three kids, there are lots of open seats popping up. Your seating chart could end up being full of holes.
When planning your wedding, you account for all the costs. A lot of wedding budgets are made by cost per guest. So what happens when uninvited guests show up? Some caterers leave room for error and they may be a few no-shows that leave some empty chairs, but how much wiggle room do you really have?
With a seating chart, guests arrive and are greeted by your wedding co-ordinator or venue staff and shown to their seat. If they are not on the list… While that may seem uncomfortable, at least it is better than you having to shell out hundreds of more dollars that you didn’t plan for because extra “un-invited” guests decided to crash your wedding.
Some uninvited guests are true wedding crashers. Others are a pleasant surprise. You didn’t think your favorite aunt that lives out of state could make it, but she shows up last minute. If your seating chart is tight, you then have to bump someone to another table. If you aren’t utilizing a seating chart, this can be just a happy surprise, no worries.
Seating charts can help immensely, and they can be a bit of a headache. Decide for yourselves what your guests need from you in terms of assigned seating.
Are you near Montgomery, Texas? We’d love to host your wedding ceremony and reception at Jennings Trace. Contact us to learn more or arrange an on-site tour.