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The Pros and Cons of a Seating Chart

The Pros and Cons of a Seating Chart

A lot of couples would agree that the seating chart arrangement is one of their least favorite wedding-related chores. It’s a seemingly never-ending, tedious task that can bring out the worst in people. If you think you’re going to be one of those people, take a look at some of these points below before you completely rule out a seating chart.

The Pros

Organized & Orderly

Seating Chart

Photo Source: Cederwood Weddings

Everybody knows where to go when there’s a seating arrangement. Planning the chart can be a stressful process, but once it’s done, consider your wedding idiot-proof. You and your guests will have peace of mind knowing that everyone has a place. A seating chart will guarantee that all tables are proportionally occupied so you don’t suffer a “bare spot” that doesn’t look nice in photos.  

You can group your guests together strategically if you make a seating chart in advance. If you have one guest who only knows one person in the wedding, you can seat them together in a table with people they can possibly connect with. Remember, you are sharing your big day with your loved ones. Make them comfortable as much as you can.

Program-Friendly

A seating arrangement works well if you have an elaborate program where you would want certain people to be closer to the stage if they have a part. This will make life so much easier for yourself and your wedding coordinator.

VIP Guests

How would your grandma feel if she was seated at the far corner of the room because all your colleagues were quick enough to the front? A seating chart that’s sensitive to these issues will save you from a lot of family and guest-related stress.

Sit-Down Dinners

Sit-down dinners take a lot of brain and leg work for the wait staff. A seating chart will help them determine in advance where to serve the vegan plates, seafood for the pescetarians, and all other guests who have dietary restrictions.

The Cons

Cold and Stiff

Seating Chart

Photo Source: Something Turquoise 

A seating arrangement can be stifling for some guests. They may want to catch up with people who happen to be on the other side of the room.  An ill-planned seating arrangement could rob warmth from your wedding.

Tedious Process

Planning a seating arrangement can feel like an endless jigsaw puzzle with a thousand pieces. The need to ensure that all guests will have a good time with their table mates can be very draining. You also risk seating guests who don’t want to be near each other (family feud, anyone?) Sometimes, it’s a game of chance.

Pointless in a Small, Intimate Wedding

You don’t need to go through the pains of a seating arrangement if it’s going to be an intimate wedding of family and really close friends. They can choose where they want to sit if they’re comfortable with everyone.

Verdict and Suggestions

Eiffel Tower Place Holder

Photo Source: Ella Celebration

A seating chart is strongly recommended in large weddings, whether casual or formal. Small, intimate weddings where everyone is comfortable with one another can go smoothly without it. The important thing is for the guests not to feel that your wedding is a burdensome ordeal of not knowing where to sit or having to deal with people they don’t like.

Planning a seating arrangement is understandably daunting and can become a source of conflict. Issue an RSVP deadline at least a month before the wedding and set aside dedicated time for seating arrangements. If the wedding program is a big basis for the seating chart, keep your program brief but meaningful so guests can go around the room to mingle afterwards.

Maintain the character of your wedding by using place card holders that double as decorative pieces. You can paint table numbers on old wine bottles and even turn them into flower vases. Kitschy accessories like these Eiffel Tower Place Card Holders will add a stylish flair to your tables. 

If you do decide on a seating chart, think about it as an investment. You won’t regret it if you do it properly because it can be instrumental in an organized and smoothly-running wedding day!


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