One of the things we hear most from couples just starting their wedding planning is, “We’re not going to assign tables, we want it to be more laid back!” Now, we LOVE laid back here at the Mill, but there are so many benefits to at least assigning TABLES (not specific seats at the tables). It’s so worth it that we encourage ALL of our couples to assign tables! Here’s why:
People expect it.
When guests arrive to your reception, they immediately start looking for their table or seat assignment. We see it! When there are no table or seat assignments, guests often seem confused and unsure of where they should sit. Most people expect that certain tables are reserved for immediate family and close friends. Generally, when there are no assignments, we see guests sitting as far away as possible, as if they’re afraid to choose a seat that may be reserved for more immediate family and friends! It’s important to make your guests comfortable by meeting their expectations and telling them exactly where to sit.
I call it “wedding psychology:” guests just love having their space & knowing where it is!
You need to make sure you have enough seats.
It may seem like you can just set the room with enough seats for all of your RSVP’d guests and let everyone fend for themselves, but this does not always work out! Imagine this: you have tables set for 8 people each. A family of 5 sits at the last table with 5 open seats. Then a family of 4 or group of 4 friends come in . . . but there is no table with 4 open seats! You might have 2 seats at one table, then 3 at another, but nothing with 4! It’s an awkward situation that you don’t want to put your guests in.
Make everyone feel welcome!
When choosing your table assignments, you’re bound to find some folks who may not know as many other people coming to your wedding. Maybe they’re a work friend or a childhood friend that doesn’t hang with your regular circle. Don’t leave these guests to invite themselves to a table of close friends! Assign them to a table where they may have things in common with a group or at least know one other person. It’s so, so important to think of your guests & make them feel comfortable in this way!
Bonus Tip: If you have some friends who won’t know as many other guests, it’s nice to give them a plus one! It will ensure that they’re a lot more comfortable AND feel braver about getting on the dance floor later!
So, what are some easy ways to show guests where their tables are? You can do one big chart like Lauren & Bobby:
Or you can create a sheet for each table & hang them from our copper arch like Ashley & Richie did with this gorgeous frame:
Here’s another example from Elizabeth & Skip’s wedding. Behind Robert & I, you can see the cool hanging display, then you can see how everyone was listed up close: