Photo: Jessica Burke Photography
Why wait for your wedding reception when you can kick off the weekend with a fun-filled rehearsal dinner? These events come in all shapes and sizes, from formal and intimate to a casual get-together for a crowd. Once everyone is there and ready to eat, the question is: Where should they sit? We asked our experts whether you'll need to create a seating chart for the party before The Party.
Great news! Assigning seating for your rehearsal dinner is definitely not required. Unlike at a wedding, where table assignments are a pretty good idea no matter how casual your celebration (unless you're having an alternative reception like a cocktail party instead of a seated dinner), you can decide whether or not to assign seats at your rehearsal dinner based on how formal the event will be.
For a dinner with a larger group in a more formal setting — say, a restaurant's private dining room or a space you've bought out completely — table assignments will ensure every guest has a place to sit and will make it easier to share meal selections with your venue if you requested those from guests in advance. The use of place cards is totally up to you, but you'll definitely want to pick the two best seats in the house for the bride and groom! It can also be a really nice touch with a smaller group that's seated at one large table to put in the thought of giving each guest a designated seat.
If your rehearsal dinner is more casual, escort cards aren't required. And if you're offering a buffet or encouraging people to mingle as they eat instead of dining all at the same time, it will be impossible to assign people to a table, anyway, as you'll probably have more guests than seats. You may want to reserve a table for older guests or those who won't be comfortable on their feet for the entire evening, but beyond that, your guests can grab a seat when and where they see fit.