Whether you are having a backyard clambake or a black tie affair, arranging seating for your guests can be time consuming. Believe it or not, the process begins as early as the invitation planning if your wedding menu is a choice. Here are answers to some common questions about making seating choices and tips to help make sure you have all of the information you need!
Do I need to assign seating?
Assigned seating is a big assist in sticking to a timeline. Your guests only have to find their escort card and table number, and possibly a place card to know where they should end up for dinner. If you are planning a station style party, hosting a small event (30 or less) or have lots extra time in your wedding timeline, you can choose to forgo assigning seating but, if you do we recommend having extra chairs and place settings if you are having a buffet, family style or sit down dinner. This way, parties that know each other won’t have to split up if there aren't enough chairs available at a particular table.
What information should I have for my seating?
Your reply card will have all of the information you need...not just the number and names of the guests attending your wedding! For sit down dinners with a choice, requesting your guests initial their dinner selection is a simple and clear way to capture the information you need. For all other dinner styles, requesting any dietary restrictions on your reply card can be helpful for your caterer and listing this information on the escort card for these guests can alert the server of any guests with special requests. Remember, double check with your planner about how many guests comfortably fit at the style tables you are planning.
What is the difference between an "escort card" and a "place card"?
A lot of our clients ask us the difference between an escort card and a place card and if they need both. An "escort card" is something that your guest pick up on their way into the reception with their name and table assignment on it - "Jamie Bohlin, Table 2". You can also use a table chart in lieu of escort cards (see below). "Place cards" are used to show the guests place at the table. So when your guest arrives to the table they have an assigned seat. Place cards are typically used at more formal weddings, but also come in handy to help the catering staff identify meal choices and dietary restrictions if they already know where the guest is seated. You definitely need an escort card or table chart, but place cards are optional.
Escort Cards or Table Chart?
We love a fun escort card display or a statement making table chart! Choosing one or the other is usually dictated by the size of your wedding and the style of your wedding. Planning a very large wedding? A table chart can save on budget and it’s also a great way to show off your wedding style by using a mirror, chalkboard, acrylic, window pane, frame or wine bottles. Bonus, your guests won’t have to keep track of a small piece of paper or carry an item with them. Extra tip, table charts that are alphabetical versus by table make it easier for your guests to locate their names so they can get back to the party! If you have a choice menu, escort cards or a table chart with place cards at the table are great options! Escort cards tell the guest the table number where they are seated and remind the guest of their meal choice. They are also a great way to quickly inform the server of the guest’s choice by color coding or a letter or icon on them. They can also act as or be attached to favors for your guests.
Should I use place cards?
Place cards can be used along with a table chart for extra elegance at a black tie affair and assist the catering staff with food service. We also LOVE personalized menu cards. A beautiful option to greet your guest at their table and functional as well! (This saves on budget by eliminating the place card!)
There many ways to design your seating and ways to make them work for the size and style of your wedding. Your planner can help point you in the right direction!
Kids at Your Cape Cod Wedding
As you begin to plan your Cape Cod wedding and start to pull together your guest list, one question will arise - do you invite kids to your wedding? For some couples the answer is an easy yes or no, but below we will review some of the ways to handle the question of having kids at your wedding as well as ways to entertain them if they stick around.
Should We Invite Kids?
So there are a couple of factors to consider right off the bat when you ask this question.
Now to throw another option into the mix - you can always include some kids and not others. If you really want to have a flower girl and ring bearer, those kids can attend and you don't have to invite everyone else's kids. You can also set an age limit on kids attending - for example, only kids 12 and over are able to attend.
We do also realize that this kid question can become very political, so at some point this blog post will become useless to you as you will have to deal with your friends and family members and what works best for them.....or not.
No Kids - How to Help Your Guests with Kids
If you have decided not to have any kids at your wedding, here are some ideas for those with kids to be able to attend:
Yes Kids - How to Entertain the Kids at the Wedding
If you have decided to invite kids to the wedding, here are some ideas on how to entertain them while at the wedding:
My Honest Opinion
In my honest opinion, a wedding is not really a place for kids under 12. I have seen it in action and it is not pretty. Parents can't enjoy themselves and the kids (although cute!) can take over the spotlight. I am a mother of a 9 year old boy and the weddings where he was invited (as the ring bearer) we hired a sitter for during the wedding so we could enjoy, but the weddings were he was not invited we were totally fine with it and looked forward to a night out!
Plan. Relax. Enjoy.
At Cape Cod Celebrations, your vision is our brand. Learn more about how we can help you pull together your beautiful Cape Cod Wedding.