Open Seating at a Wedding Vs. Assigned Seating: Which Is Best?

Once your wedding venue has been booked and the date is set, the next thing that you may think about is what type of seating plan you want. You don’t necessarily need to establish this right away, but it is definitely something that will need to be considered before it’s too late. Do you want an assigned seating plan or will you go for an open seating plan? Choosing which seating plan to go for at your wedding can be one of the most difficult decisions to make. It’s a lot to think about, so we don’t blame you if you’re totally overwhelmed by the choices that you have on your hands. There are a few great reasons that couples opt for an open seating plan, but we want to tell you why we believe you should choose assigned seating instead.

Your Wedding Will Run Much More Smoothly

When every table in your reception has assigned seating, nobody has to wander aimlessly around trying to find a seat. It will help eliminate the choreography involved in finding a table or getting things set up. You won’t have to worry about that awkward “is this seat taken?” from your guests. They will be able to find their seats more quickly and efficiently so that the show can go on.

Assigned seating (or escort cards with meal selections) will be crucial if your guests have pre-selected their meal choices because the caterer will need to know where each guest is sitting so that the right food is provided to each guest seamlessly. By the same token, they will also need this information for dietary reasons amongst the guests.

Guests Will Have A Better Experience

When organizing your wedding reception, you want to make sure that you give each guest a great experience. That starts by making sure everyone gets into their assigned seating area. This keeps the flow of guests through the event organized and helps you avoid confusion when guests are switching seats or even fighting over a single seat – yikes!

With assigned seating, you will get to make sure that every seat is accounted for. Everyone will know exactly where to sit, meaning that no seats are left unoccupied. 

Your wedding party and families are typically the most important guests; you’ll want to make sure that they have a good view. With assigned seating, you can seat your friends and relatives by each other in a more ideal section of the reception. Open seating can reduce the likelihood that close friends and relatives will stay seated together.

As we mentioned earlier, there are a few good reasons that couples have for opting for open seating. If you are planning a small, laid-back wedding with just your partner and your closest friends and family members, then having open seating might be appropriate. It can also save you some time and money when you don’t have to put a seating chart together and provide escort cards/place cards to each of your guests. 

For most weddings, assigned seating is often a better way to organize than open seating at a wedding, and you will thank yourself later for assuming the responsibility.

For more tips and advice, check out more on the blog!

Escort cards with names written on them for a wedding seating chart
Wedding table setting


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