A solid seating arrangement is the golden ticket to a successful event. Whether a wedding, meeting, gala or anything else you may be planning, arranging for the right family, friends or colleagues to sit next to, or near, one another encourages small talk and chit chat. This in turn leads to your guests having fun, loosening up and therefore a successful event!

At a wedding, for example, seating old college friends with other old college friends, or cousins with cousins they don’t get to visit with very often, gives them the opportunity to catch up and have a wonderful time themselves, while celebrating you of course.

The question, when it comes to seating charts is how specific do you want to be with these arrangements? Will your guests be finding their tables and choosing their own seats? Or, will your guests be finding both their table and their seat? We’ve thought about both options and have some ideas to help you decide what’s best for you!

Assigned Tables: Find Your Table but Not Your Set

                With endless to-do lists, some brides and grooms are doing away with assigned seats and instead simply opting for assigned tables. Let’s face it, seating arrangements can be tedious especially if there are many people on the guest list. Arranging who sits at what table can be enough of a headache from making sure guests who are known to not get along are on opposite sides of your venue to making sure your great aunt is not seated next to the window on a cold winter’s day.

Some people believe that when attending an event, couples should not be seated next to each other so that conversations can expand, and each person can broaden their social circles. Other couples strongly disagree with this concept. Maybe they don’t get to see their significant other as much as they would like to, and your event is their chance to spend some quality time together as well.  Similar ideas or other seating conundrums can lead to guests swapping seats anyway!

Get rid of this one, most likely time consuming and stressful, thing on your to-do list and make it easy for everyone. Once your guests find their table number they can opt for sitting next to their plus one or next to the cousin they rarely get to visit with or even next to someone they’ve never met before!

Assigned Seats: Planning and Coordinating All the Details

Assigned seats, however does have major perks. For example, keep in mind your caterer! This is most definitely the best option if you are having a plated dinner, otherwise your servers may have a challenging time getting the right dinner to the right person. This is especially important if any of your guests have food allergies. The last thing anyone wants is for Uncle Al’s tongue to swell up from a peanut sauce because he had received Aunt Mary’s dinner by mistake!

Are you the person that is looking to have a little fun and play matchmaker at your wedding? Seating two friends from different social circles right next to each other could be interesting, if you know your friends well enough to be sure that they will still enjoy their night!

Perhaps the guest list for your event is more than manageable to assign specific seats to each guest, or perhaps it would take stress off your shoulders knowing each person had a seat. Assigning seats could eliminate other mistakes, such as not having enough seats or place settings at a table that may have 9 guests instead of 8, like most of your other tables.

When deciding which approach to the seating arrangements is best for you, your guests and your caterer, it is important to ask yourself “which option would be less stressful?” There is no way you can go wrong if YOU are at peace with your decisions for your event!

Panicking about how you are going to fit all your guests in one venue? Reach out to us at to inquire about seating for up to 350 guests!

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As Seen on the Knot

As Seen on The Knot