Something I have learned after having many conversations with couples regarding the reception is they think assigning people to tables and/or seats is for formal dinners only. I like to share why even a taco station dinner at a 5p.m. at an outdoor wedding benefits from assigning guests to tables even if not to exact seats.
If you have ever been to an open seating sit-down dinner with strangers, you’ve probably stood there wondering “Where should I sit?” Weddings are full of strangers, and for the guests who are prone to being introverts it can be downright frightening to consider sitting by someone they don’t know and having to strike up conversation.
Another inconvenient fact that arises when there is open-seating is that people often choose to sit in such a way as to leave a buffer of one seat between them and those strangers. Which means when a couple enters the reception area to find a table at which to sit together they are unable to do so due to random single seats scattered about the room. This is not a good guest experience.
How to fix this is simple and doesn’t necessarily require assigning every person to a seat, but rather having table numbers and assign your guests to tables. It takes a little bit of thought by those who chose the guest list, but it is worth it for a better guest experience and a smoother dinner time.
Assigning guests to tables not only helps alleviate the stress of choosing where to sit and making sure couples get to sit together, it also encourages a good guest experience. With a little thought to whom you place together at a table you can encourage people with like interests to meet and get to know one another. You also eliminate a mass run to the buffet by having only a few tables released at a time.
One unique scenario when assigning tables for all your guests, is if you are having a food truck serve at your reception.
If your food truck serves traditionally by taking orders, and then serving after a few minutes, it is highly unlikely that all of your guests will ever be seated at the same time. Besides the food being fantastic, food trucks are a form of entertainment and encourage friendliness. There is something about standing in line that encourage people to strike up conversation with those around them. And because of the scattered timing of when people choose to eat you don’t have to worry about a couple not being able to sit together due to single seats.
You can find lots of ideas on Pinterest for how to display your chart as well as tips on creating it – like Post-it-Notes you can move around until you get the arrangement of people just right. You’ll need your final guest count and names who are coming, your table layout, and a little bit of time to focus on your guests personalities and who they would enjoy sitting with. It’s worth it!