To have a seating chart or not - it is a big question for a wedding reception! It is traditional for sit down receptions to have one, but I think this is a tradition we can forget and leave behind.
To be blunt, I hate seating charts and I am going to explain why.
1 - They Add Stress To The Bride
This entire blog post was brought on by a wedding I did 3 weeks ago where a bride was frantically changing tables and name cards because of guests who cancelled the day of the wedding.
The bride should not be having to worry about anything besides getting married the week of her wedding. It is absolutely outrageous for her to be thinking about a seating chart the day of her wedding, but it happens so often! There will always be about 10 guests who cancel a day or 2 before the wedding, and they always contact the bride to let her know. What happens with this is that the bride then has to handle the stress of changing her seating chart, stacks of name cards, and then the seating layout right before the wedding. I can't tell you how many brides are racing around the reception stressing about making sure everyone has a seat and there aren't any extra spaces.
2 - They Are Dated
I think they first became popular because it offered a higher level of elegance in the grandeur of weddings. However, times have changed!
As weddings and receptions go from a very classic, traditional model where they are all exactly the same, weddings have gotten more creative and personalized now! Guests like to choose where they sit and be able to mix and mingle. Weddings - especially receptions - aren't as stiff and formal as they used to be. Your reception won't be any less classy if there isn't a seating chart. Your guests will actually have a better time if you don't have one, and trust me, you will be less stressed.
3 - They Are Too Much Work
I am just being honest. They require so much preparation, lists and details, and hours of work. Not just deciding who sits where, but then you have to make the cards, print the cards, fold the cards, make a big chart for guests to read, put the seating chart into a software or write it down for the wedding coordinators to put out, etc. In my opinion, it is too much work for something that isn't worth any trouble. And, as a side note, you would be shocked at how many guests change their seats as soon as they sit down. I always look around the reception to see guests pulling chairs from different tables so they can sit where they want.
I clearly have strong feelings about this topic, but I hope that this gave you some insight why. If you want a seating chart - go for it! But I wanted brides to know that they aren't as necessary as people believe.