Wedding 101

Names or Numbers for Your Reception Tables?

Collect, manage, and organize your wedding guest information for each event and track their preferences.
It's the little details that can really make your big day stand out from all the rest, from the font you use on your invitations to your chosen color palette. Our favorite place for a couple to leave their mark? The tabletops at their reception! And no, those stunning centerpieces aren't the only way to make a statement. While some to-be-weds keep things simple and go with the traditional number system for their seating chart, others get a little more creative and come up with names based on a special theme or shared interest. Neither option is necessarily better than the other (do you, Loverlies!), but before you can choose what you want those signs to look like and who will be sitting at each table, you need to decide: Names or numbers? Here are the pros and cons of each option to help you decide which works best for your wedding.

Table Numbers Pros & Cons

The pros: 
1. It's the easiest route. When it comes to wedding planning, the easier, the better for both for you and your guests. With a number system in place, you'll have no trouble keeping track or arranging those tables—which you'll find can be trickier than you'd ever expect! Plus, if your tables are organized by number, guests will find their seats faster. 
2. It's the traditional thing to do. If your wedding is filled with age-old traditions, anything but numbers might seem out of place. So stick to the tried and true! And since number are the norm, everyone will understand what the number on their place card means. 
3. You can still get creative. Just because numbers are expected doesn't mean they have to be uninspired. Unique, bold, or handmade designs give you the opportunity to get creative in your own way. 
4. You can buy table numbers without a problem. It's not hard to find pre-made table numbers on Etsy or at party stores around the globe, and there are plenty of options available to match your style and colors. Buying these ready-made items will save you time in the DIY department. If you go with names, that won't always be the case—you could be stuck with a time-consuming craft. 
The cons: 
1. It's expected. If you're the type of couple whose wedding will shatter nuptial norms, simple numbers won't help you achieve that legendary status. 
2. Some guests might think it's a bit boring. Couples whose wedding is full of fun and energetic elements (like untraditional ceremony readings, for example) might be bored by a predictable numerical display. 
But, as we like to say: this is YOUR big day, so do things YOUR way!

Table Names Pros & Cons

 The pros: 
1. It lets you be creative. Simple isn't for everyone. Unusual table names let your creative juices flow and give your guests a chance to see your unique taste and style, which is perfect for couples going the unconventional route. 
2. You can add a DIY element to your reception. This one might be a con for the not-so-crafty couple, but for those who love those handmade elements, table titles are a great chance to make something totally one-of-a-kind for your dinner tables. 
3. You can show off your personality. Do you and your fiancé love to travel? Name your tables after places you've been together! Sports nuts? Choose favorite team names for your tables. Use your table names as an opportunity to let your guests get to know you as a couple on a whole new level. 
The cons: 
1. You have to think of lots of creative ideas. Depending on how many guests are attending your nuptials, you could have 20+ tables to name. Be prepared to dedicate lots of time and effort to brainstorming if you go down this path—and consider switching up your theme to ensure you have enough names for all those tables. 
2. Guests might be confused. Older guests who are used to traditional weddings probably haven't seen this table name trend. Picking up a place card without a number on it could confuse them and leave them wandering from seat to seat as dinner service starts. Hopefully some of your in-the-know friends and family members can help them sort things out. 
3. It's harder for guests to locate their seats. When tables aren't organized numerically, guests will have to spend more time searching around the reception space finding their seat—which some guests might hate. As we said, both options are pretty awesome—to each his (or her) own! It just depends on your personal style and the kind of wedding you're hoping to have. 
Kristin Doherty
About The Author
Writer and Content Strategist. 
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