“ Rule 108 - Always carry an assortment of place cards to match any wedding design” Wedding Crashers
One of the hardest parts of planning a wedding (other than dealing with your in-laws) is deciding where your guests will sit. With a guest list of 300, this is a task I am NOT looking forward to. When dealing with the majority of your guests, the question lies whether you should mix and match them or seat them with people they know. I think the best thing to do is a bit of both. It is nice for friends to sit together but for the guests attending that do not know anyone it is better to intermix them amongst friends rather than putting every random at one table (“mutants at table 9”). Your tables will likely change up until the day of the wedding (it happens to everyone, try not to panic). You might end up with a last minute cancellation or someone could call the weekend of to say they are now coming. Go with it. There are some great programs that now make this job mindless; the only thing better would be if they seated your guests for you. Check out this site to see just how easy it can be.
Place Cards: These traditional cards can be used alone or with escort cards. They are typically displayed near the entrance of the reception in alphabetical order. They include the guest's name and table number. Once at the table, guests usually select their own seats. This is a good time to tie in the same paper used from your invites or to get creative.
These are painted hockey puck place cards used at Mike Fisher and Carrie Underwood's Wedding
These are great for a formal wedding looking to add some spice!
My personal faves for a modern wedding
The Seating Chart: This is a more modern take on place cards. Seating charts are lists of guests' names with their designated tables and are usually alphabetical as well. Additional place cards may be used at each table to designate assigned seats, if you wish. I think these are fabulous and I am thinking of going this route for my wedding. My only hesitation is having 300 people trying to find their names on one board but the same can be said of 300 all reaching for their little cards. What’s a girl to do??
Classic and Elegant
A brilliant and creative take on a seating chart
Note: Guests should never alter seating arrangements or "switch seats" at a wedding reception, but it is perfectly acceptable to mingle at different tables after dinner.
Hope this helps!!