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When planning the perfect wedding, one aspect that you may need more guidance on is whether to arrange assigned seating for wedding guests or allow guests to choose their seats for themselves. Creating a comfortable, fun, and engaging guest experience is essential to the success of your wedding day.

If you need to know more about this critical detail, these two seating arrangement options offer several pros and cons to consider. As you keep reading, weigh both options and remember that ultimately there is no wrong answer.

Pros of Assigning Seats for Your Wedding Reception

Although seating arrangements are one of the many details that comprise a wedding reception and are fully customizable according to the bride and groom’s wishes, something to consider is that it is a topic of discourse among traditionalists and modernist wedding-goers. Traditionally, the bride’s family and the groom’s family sit separately on each side

With assigned seating, you decide where each of your guests will sit per table. These spots are usually reserved with name cards. These seats engage guests with one another and create a specific experience at each table.

Organization & Control

Having an assigned seat for guests allows for a less complicated approach to finding a seat and makes settling in less awkward. There is no apprehension to sitting next to people you don’t know because the bride and groom wanted you to meet them. This method allows you to separate family members who don’t get along and match guests who you think should meet. This method streamlines the process of beginning the event and saves time so your event can run on schedule.

Additionally, caterers can better monitor food allergies and sensitivities throughout the event if guests are assigned a specific seat or table. They are also more likely to get your guest’s orders right and on time.

Increases Formality & Decreases Cost

Having a seating arrangement adds to the elegance of the event. Having placards adds a polished look to table decor and can give you a way of personalizing your guests’ experience.

Creating a seating arrangement increases the chances of staying on budget and not having any surprise expenses. This method can save on decor expenses and catering expenses.

Adds a Layer of Creativity

Assigned seating for your wedding reception can give you some creative liberties on enhancing your guests’ experiences with decor or match-up personalities to enhance their time at your event. You might want to pair an introverted guest with someone who is a social butterfly. Additionally, adding some personalized elements at each table can make all the difference in your guest’s experience.

Cons of Assigning Seats for Your Wedding Reception

Added Stress of Planning Ahead

Even though assigning seats for your wedding reception decreases stress day-of, it adds to the stress of planning the seating arrangements ahead of time. Even though it could be fun for some to match up guests, it can get daunting and time-consuming when analyzing the outcomes and experiences of every table and seat selection for guests. You may also have to account for last-minute changes of cancellations and additions, which can throw off planning. If you’re overwhelmed and don’t have time to think about this detail, it may be best to opt for an open seating policy at your reception.

Unexpected Attendees

When dealing with a strict seating chart, sometimes it makes for a chaotic situation. For example, if a guest forgets to RSVP or a guest brings a plus one that wasn’t accounted for, this can mean that there is no extra room for additional guests. This can mean that you need to be prepared ahead of time with extra chairs or tables if a situation arises.

Guests May Not Love Their Seat

Despite your best efforts, someone may indeed have negative feelings about where they are seated or who they are seated with. This could impact the experience that they have at your event. While there is no way of knowing if this will happen, a good compromise would be to assign tables instead of specific seating. Also consider assigning bridal parties and family, but allow other guests to choose their seating.

Windows on the Water Can Assist in Planning Your New Jersey Wedding Reception

Windows on the Water, an 86-acre lakeside venue located in New Jersey specializing in open-air and tented events, can help you plan the most perfect and engaging wedding reception. Our team of expert wedding planners can address any issues and create a customizable package and experience your guests will never forget.

With the assistance and dedication of our professional staff and wedding planners, you can rest assured that your reception will be above and beyond your expectations. For more information about the lake wedding venue and our packages, fill out our contact form or call (609) 208-9475.