Updated: May 11, 2020
You have gotten all your reply cards back and it is now time to get your seating layout together. The big question is ... who sits where? And how do you tastefully instruct our guests where to sit?
Generally, the “rules” of seating has not changed much over the years. When it comes to the seating arrangement, try to keep things as simple as possible. The couple may opt to be seated at a sweetheart’s table together or at a bridal party table with all members of the bridal party sitting together. Traditionally, members of the wedding party with spouses and significant others are typically seated at tables near them. Immediate family is usually next, starting with parents, siblings and close relatives. The remainder of the guests in the reception area is usually other relatives and friends. If children are invited, it is at your discretion to have them seated with their parents or have a designated section where all of the children are seated together. In choosing the latter, you can opt to have an older teenager or young adult to oversee the children to ensure good behavior throughout the evening.
Couples often get confused about the difference between an escort card and a place card. The trick to remember the difference; Escort cards tells you where to go (What table you are assigned). And a Place card tells you where to sit (specifically) at the table. Normally place cards are useful when the couple opts for their guests to select meal options. Place cards are great to indicate Beef, Chicken, Vegetarian, Vegan or Gluten Free.
The seating arrangements are generally at the discretion of the couple.
At an informal wedding guests will generally seat themselves.
When escort cards are used, guests often pick up their table assignments in the entrance of the reception, with the guest’s name and table number displayed on tented cards organized in alphabetical order.
Guests can also be directed to their table upon arrival at the reception by ushers and/or hostesses.
They can also locate their seats by the use of a seating (escort) chart, which is at the entrance of the reception, displayed with names alphabetically or by table designations. The chart will provide their name and table number/location for self-seating
Formal escort cards with envelopes typically include the guest’s name on the outside with the table number on the inside card.
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