Should you have assigned seating at your wedding reception? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but there are some indicators to look for. Here are a few of the most likely signs as to which direction is right for you.
1. Do Assign If People Don't Know Each Other
Do you have a lot of out-of-town guests? Friends from various schools you attended? Single friends who aren't bringing dates? If so, assigned seating prevents awkward and uncomfortable dilemmas about where to sit among strangers.
2. Don't Assign If You're Short on Time
Assigning tables is usually a big job. And it's one that can be very frustrating, depending on how many potential conflicts you have to foresee. If you're already short on time, skip this step in favor of other planning priorities. A good wedding venue or planner can use their own expertise to help minimize any seating drama that occurs on the big day.
3. Do Assign If There's Family Drama
One of the biggest reasons to assign seating is to keep family or friend drama to a minimum. You can keep feuding exes or ex-friends apart. You might put your crazy uncle on the far side of the room. Or you could set aside the worst seating for party crashers who came late. If you anticipate potential trouble, take control with table assignments.
4. Don't Assign If There Are Other Solutions
Because table assignment is such a big task, consider other solutions first. You and the venue staff can help people find seating on their own. You might designate a few reserved tables and let the relevant people know who these are for. Or you could pare down your guest list to limit the attendees likely to create drama.
5. Do Assign if You Have Specific Needs
Do your wedding plans hinge upon certain people being in certain places? If so, then assignment is necessary. This could be because you want to set up certain single friends with other single friends, or you may want to ensure that Grandma can see her favorite part of the reception. Or your wedding party might have plans for a big surprise. In any case, if you need things to be a certain way, take the time to put them there.
Want to know more about the pros and cons of assigned seating? Start by consulting with wedding venues in your area. Their expertise will be invaluable in helping you find the right course to craft the perfect big day without overworking yourself.