The wedding-planning process is peppered with necessary yet tedious tasks that are nonetheless essential to maintaining a streamlined reception, and creating a seating chart is one of the most irritatingly complicated. But what happens when you want to buck tradition and let your guests play musical chairs? Our etiquette experts weigh in on the pros and cons of a seating chart.
First, think about the formality and layout of your reception. A formal wedding reception with a catered dinner demands some sort of pre-planned seating arrangement, unless you want your guests to play musical chairs well into the dessert course. And while you don't have to designate an actual seat for each guest, it is smart to at least assign tables to make the process easier for everyone — friends and family included.
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Next, consider whom you wish to sit with at your wedding. A place next to the bride and groom is prime real estate at a wedding, so unless you have a separate sweetheart table or you have no preference about sitting next to distant relatives you're not incredibly close with at the reception, you may require a seating chart to keep family and best friends close by.
Liven up your seating arrangement by naming tables after locations, songs, or books that mean something to you and your husband, or by giving each table a color instead of a label.