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Ask a CLINKer : Assigning Seats

Our “Ask a CLINKer” series contains questions asked to us by our clients or by our readers. Please feel free to email your questions to

To assign, or not to assign . . . that is the question!

Assigned tables at weddings have advantages and disadvantages . . . here are some things to consider when making the decision for your own wedding.

Assigning tables is optional. You can have open seating, but if you do, we recommend:

  • Have a couple of reserved tables for the wedding party and family. You don’t want your Mom roaming around looking for an open seat!
  • Have about 10-15% extra seating. If you have 100 people attending, we would recommend having seating for 110-115 because groups of people may want to sit together, and if you have the exact right number of chairs, groups may get split up. So there is a budget factor to consider because you’ll need seating (tables, chairs, linens, centerpieces, etc.) for more people than you actually have.
  • If you do decide to assign seats, then you need to decide whether you are assigning people to sit at a particular table, or at a particular seat at the table. Either way is fine, but assigned seating means more work for you AND more costs. If you do assigned seats, you will need what’s known as Escort Cards – the little cards that are placed on a table in alphabetical order that assigns guests to a particular table (e.g. John Smith – Table 2). But if you’re doing assigned seats at that table, you then also need to get Place Cards for each individual setting.

escort cards


place card

Photo from Pinterest

  • IDEA: If you are doing menu cards at each place setting, you can have the guest’s name printed on their menu – to avoid having another printed piece at each place setting. Or get someone with really nice handwriting to hand write their names at the top of the menu cards for a nice personal touch!
menu place card

Photo from

  • Feel free to get creative by naming your tables something significant/fun (as opposed to numbering them), but remember that guests will have a hard time finding tables placed randomly, so you’ll want to put them in alphabetical order so they can easily find their table name.
  • No matter how punctual you may be, you simply cannot plan for this in advance. You have to wait until your RSVPs come in – which means you are faced with doing your assigned tables – along with all of your final wedding details and the many things you’ll be tasked with in the last couple weeks before the wedding. It can be challenging and stressful. CLINK’s clients get a seating assignment template to help get the process started! Give us a call if you would like to talk about our services!

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