To Assign or Not to Assign?

If you’re busy planning your 2018 wedding, then you might be having a real headache over the seating plan. Some people say modern weddings should have unassigned seating. It’s certainly one less chore for the bride and groom to worry about but what are the pros and cons?

To Assign or Not to Assign?

Unassigned seating

While this theory sounds great, it’s a rather awkward one to put into practice. Some downsides to unassigned seating include:

A less than elegant rush to get the ‘good’ seats, leaving poor granny stuck at the back of the room and unable to hear the proceedings.

The time it takes to get everyone seated will be prolonged. There might still be confused as the food starts to be served.

All that hard work into making the decorations and décor look stunning could be ruined by people reserving seats by putting their coats on the chair backs.

It’s a bit like a game of musical chairs with the last to arrive looking for somewhere to sit like the unpopular kids in the school canteen!

It could cause couples or families to get split up which could ruin the atmosphere.

If you have anyone arrive unexpectedly, they might take the seat of an invited guest.

Assigning seats or tables?

Perhaps you could choose an option where guests are assigned a table but still get to choose which seat they take. This is a practice more common in the U.S but it means you don’t have to struggle with the issues outlined above and still have less work to do on a seating plan. Ask your venue to find out if they have a preference. For a Wedding Hotel Venue Gloucestershire, visit

Seat assignment

Assigning seats means that you can be sure to seat speakers and important guests in the best and most appropriate places.

Thinking of the waiting staff, assigned seats makes it easier for them to get meals to specific guests, for example, those with special dietary requirements.

Table assignment

There is less work for the bride and groom to carry out.

There is no need for place cards, saving a bit of money.

The choice of who to sit next to is left to the guests to decide.

Whether you assign seats or tables, here are some important things to remember:

Do you want to put people who know each other or mix them up a bit so they meet new people? If you do split people, try to seat them next to at least one known person. Stick to keeping families together and also work colleagues together. The two are separate worlds and won’t know each other.

Attempt to create balance on your tables, with equal numbers of men and women for example. However, avoid putting ex-partners together on the same table unless all is amicable. If you have any guests who don’t fit into a specific table category, distribute them evenly and don’t clump them all on one table.