Assigned Seats Vs. General Seating: Making the Best Choice for Your Wedding

Assigned Seats
As you select a picturesque setting for your wedding reception, you will need to decide if it is best to use an assigned or general seating arrangement. These two seating arrangement options each offer numerous advantages and disadvantages to consider. With no one right answer, you will need to weigh your preferences to determine whether assigned seats or general seating will work best for you. To get started, use this informative guide to explore the pros and cons of each seating arrangement option.

Trends in Wedding Seating

Seating accommodations at weddings have become a big point of contention between the modern versus traditional crowd. Traditionalists want to have the bride’s family on one side of the ceremony and the grooms on the other, while enthusiasts of modern wedding styles favor an open seating arrangement. Assigned seats and general seating arrangements receive an equal amount of attention with pros and cons to consider on both sides.

Pros and Cons of Assigned Seats

With assigned seats, you figure out where each of your guests will sit at your reception. As designated by the placards, your guests will have a place to sit and enjoy their meal, eat cake and visit with the other guests. Here are the pros and cons for this consideration.


Overall, non-negotiable seats allow you to control the flow and atmosphere of the celebration of your wedding. When you set up assigned seats, you limit chaos and conflicts from affecting your big day. You can place friends and family in spots that will the conversation pleasantly flowing through your event. The assigned seats also help your guests know what to expect to help maximize the fun they have at your wedding.


To create a comprehensive seating chart for your reception, you will have to put in the time and effort. You may need to work from an incomplete RSVP list that could even change at the last minute. Furthermore, your guests may balk at the idea of assigned seats if the group generally gets along pretty well or likes to keep moving around while visiting. To ensure your guests make it to their correct seats, you will need to create or invest in placards or have your wedding party escort people to their tables.

Benefits and Drawbacks of General Seating

A general seating arrangement leaves all the tables and chairs open to your guests. Your wedding guests will need to find their ideal table and seat themselves when you do not provide a seating chart. Explore the benefits and drawbacks to see if this option will work best for you.


You can save an enormous amount of time and effort by leaving your seating arrangements open. You can also save money on placards or other indicators that help your guests find their tables. The lack of planning in this department allows you to stay low key and go with the flow to best enjoy your wedding day.


Chaos can reign supreme with an open seating arrangement. Your guests may meander around, inquiring if seats are open and generally looking for a place to fit in. Introverted guests may feel awkward or out of place while trying to find somewhere to sit. If your guests do not get along, disagreements could arise and disrupt your celebrations.

How Your Wedding Venue Can Help with Your Seating Arrangements

Your wedding venue can help accommodate your needs as you select the best seating arrangement for your reception. Work with your wedding party as well to find the service options that will support you in creating the wedding of your dreams. Let your wedding venue know how they can help you make the most of your big day. To learn about our indoor and outdoor venues and catering services by calling our team at The Essex Room at 978-768-7335.