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Unless you are having open seating at your reception, you will need a way to let your guests know what table to sit at.  This is most commonly done with seating charts or place cards being displayed in the entrance or cocktail area.

For some couples, it won’t make a difference which option you pick.  However, there is one main reason why you MUST have place cards. Let’s get into that here!

If you are offering your guests a choice of entrees for your wedding reception, you will need to have a way for the wait staff to know what the guests ordered.  The easiest way to do this is by putting some kind of meal indicator on their place card.  You can have the inticator printed on the cards by the designer, or add a sticker to the card once you have them.

What if you’d like to have a seating chart, but do plan on letting your guests pick their dinner options?  You can have your seating chart out during cocktail hour, and the place cards can be set out at each guests seats before they come into the room.  This does mean you need to assign guests to specific seats at the tables, so it’s going to take a bit more time to work on.  Another thing that you need to consider before making this decision is who will set those cards out on the wedding day.  It is a time consuming task that needs to be done by someone organized, so it’s not always possible for the venue staff to do this.  

I always recommend that you put the place cards or seating chart out during cocktail hour.  This way your guests can take their time to look as they are mingling and chatting, and it’s not a long line as they all wait to find their names at the same time.