Once you’ve got your table options narrowed in on and you’ve decided whether or not to do assigned seating, it’s time to get down to logistical business. You need to know how many tables you need so you can fit it all on your floor plan, where guests are going and how to let them knowwhere to go. It’s no biggie because we’re helping you get through it!
First things first, you need to know how many people fit at each table, regardless of whether you plan to do assigned seating or not. Even if you aren’t assigning tables/seats you still want to know how much seating you are working with, so you know how many cocktail tables or how much lounge furniture to supplement with. Of course, if you are doing assigned seating, you’ll need to know the max number of people you can fit at a table, so you know how many tables you need and how to start grouping your guests for assignments.
Size varies on table type, chair type and place setting, but you can expect to fit anywhere from 6-10 at a table. If you use Chiavari chairs versus banquet chairs, you can fit more. If you include chargers at place settings, you can include less seats per table. Sometimes round guest tables are 5-feet, sometimes they are 4-or 6-feet. Sometimes rectangular tables are 8-feet and sometimes they are 6-feet. Just be sure when you are working with your venue or rental company, you ask the size.
As a quick reference, here are the seating capacities for the most common tables:
If you choose to do assigned seating, first decide if you are doing table assigning only or seat assigning, as well. From there, start grouping everyone on the guest list together based on who they know or similarities. From there, you may have to break upsome groups of 14 into two tables of 7. If you have a group of 11, break it into two tables so you don’t single anyone out and fill in with otherguests who might have things in common with the group, like area they are from or sports team they root for.
Let Guests Know the Arrangement
Regardless of whether you have assigned seating or not, let your guests know the situation. If it’s open seating, have a sign that says so. Otherwise guests will be unsure of where they are supposed to go. Of course, with assigned seating you need some sort of seating chart or escort cards to let guests know which table they should go to.
In reality, the table numbers don’t really matter, but sometimes parents care what their number is so check with them when you are making the assignments. However, it does matter where the numbers are placed around the room, only in the sense that it should be in order. You don’t want number 1 next to number 9 or number 3 next to 12.
Have some fun with it! There are fun ways to display both seating chart and table numbers!
Watch more of our pro tips here:
Love these tips?
Subscribe to our “Every Day I’m Bustlin’” podcast by clicking HERE for more weekly planning tips and tricks from our co-founders and vetted vendor guests.