If there's one wedding planning task that every couple spends a significant chunk of time on, it's creating the seating chart. While most brides and grooms see this as a necessity for the main event, they may wonder whether or not it's important for pre-wedding parties. One party that often gets assigned seating is the bridal shower, but is it really necessary to decide where each guest will sit during this celebration? Can you let shower attendees sit anywhere they like? We're turning to Jung Lee, event design expert and founder of FETE NY, for answers.
Is a seating chart necessary for the bridal shower?
It's not a necessity, but can be a nice gesture depending on the format of the shower. "Purposefully placing your guests is the most thoughtful way to approach this," Lee says, and though it's not required, it should be determined based on your event's style, the guest list, and the venue.
Who's responsible for creating the seating chart for the bridal shower?
Lee says, "The bride would be the one to coordinate this as she really knows everyone she's invited. Who should sit next to whom, who has common interests, who would hit it off are all things that need to be considered. When you place your guest with thoughtfulness, it creates the best experience for them." With that said, it doesn't mean she has to do it on her own. Her maid of honor, the event's host, and moms on both sides of the aisle may be able to weigh in or draft a preliminary seating chart that the bride can then edit or approve.
Does that mean a floor plan is necessary?
When it comes to the placement of tables, Lee says, it's nice to make a floor plan if you can, but whether or not it's possible depends on the location. "For example, some people will have their bridal shower at a restaurant, which isn't the most customizable when it comes to a floor plan." She suggests working around your venue to establish a seating chart that works well for your group.
What if we don't use a seating chart?
Depending on the format of your event, you may decide that the formality of a seating chart isn't necessary. For instance, if you're hosting a casual shower with cocktails and no seated meal, it would probably seem strange to guests to have assigned seats. Similarly, if the shower is a luncheon at a restaurant that includes formal toasts, your guests may not know where to sit if tables aren't assigned. To avoid the awkward shuffle of who sits next to whom, you can pre-emptively assign the seating for this kind of shower.