Guest Table Assignments Made E-A-S-Y + Five Tips to Seating Sanity!

Ready for some MIND BLOWING wedding planning insider? One of the most challenging pieces of the puzzle of event production, is seating assignments. Regardless the type of event, from a intimate dinner for 12 to a fundraiser for 700, assigning tables, and sometimes seats, makes both the client's and planner's brain cells go a bit haywire.  

Well, fear no more, assigning tables has never been easier since we recently found the BEST thing to hit the event planning + design world, Not only does this digital platform create seating charts and build floor-plans to scale (and in 3-D), it also allows couples to manage guest lists and seat guests directly onto the floor plan – AND it generates a report (that can easily include meal types and other notes) to give directly to the venue, catering manager and wedding coordinator. Days of using paper plates and Post-Its are long gone!

A few weeks ago, co-hosted an informative afternoon for Santa Barbara wedding planners and catering managers with All-Seated at the charming Lincourt Winery. That's right - wedding people wine-ing about seating assignments!

This eye-opening afternoon tutorial upgraded wedding planning details forever! A huge thank you to Lincourt Winery (for the venue and wine tasting), Solvang Bakery (for the sweet treats) and Isabel Lawrence Photographers (for capturing the afternoon). Scroll down for images.

Here are 5 tips (plus a few more) to save you seating-assignment anxiety and time:

  1. Start arranging your seating plan as soon as possible to avoid stress. No need to wait for all the RSVPs to come in before you start assigning tables. It becomes overwhelming right before the big day when there are other important details to attend to, and here, details are IMPORTANT!

  2. Have your diagram to scale to familiarize yourself with options (how many minimum and maximum at each of the tables?) 

  3. Escort Cards vs. Place Cards

    • Escort cards or Escort assignment boards are usually found before entering for dinner, at cocktail hour, assign guests to a table. This is a great way to incorporate some fun and personalized designs.

      • TIP: These should be sorted in alphabetical order (by first OR last name)

  4. Place cards used in addition to escort cards, assigns guests to a seat within their table and is placed at their place setting. They are usually used for formal dinners.

    • TIP: These should be sorted in order of seats for each table from the top of the table, all the way around.
  5. Sweetheart Table vs. Wedding Party Table

    • Sweetheart tables are for the bride and groom only, the advantage of this seating is that guests will visit the couple sitting at the sweetheart, and the couple get to mingle a bit from their seats.

      • TIP: the bride's last name will be her married name at this point, so when making the cards, use that instead of the maiden name (if appropriate).

    • Wedding party tables, consist of the entire wedding party

      • TIP: Include the plus 1's at this table, if you do not, those guests will end up visiting their significant others at their seats / tables, leaving the happy couple alone at a very long empty table.

      • TIP: This table should have escort cards at each place setting, typically in the same order as the wedding party stood during the ceremony.

Venue + Wine: Lincourt Winery | Photographer: Isabel Lawrence Photographers | Sweets!: Solvang Bakery