Open vs. Assigned Bar and Bat Mitzvah Seating | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

Open vs. Assigned Seating

I’ve noticed that are there two main ways that clients choose to seat guests at their party–open seating vs. assigned seating. As with everything, there are pros and cons to each.

Lounge Furniture | AvaZone Magical Whimsical Fantasy themed Bat Mitzvah party with bears, lighting, lounge furniture, cotton candy, unicorn tables and more at ZavaZone in Sterling VA | Photography by Jessica Latos Photography

Open Seating

With open seating, there are not table assignments and guests may anywhere they wish. Typically the seating is more lounge-style with couches, smaller tables and tall tables with bar stools. This open lends to more of a club or party vibe since guests can’t park themselves at a table all night. Often clients do not have seating for everyone which lends itself to more dancing.

Pros include: It is easier for the hosts since they don’t have to go through the hassle of figuring out who to sit a which table. Can lead to more mingling since guests don’t have a guaranteed place to sit.

Cons include: Elderly guests like to have a place that they know is theirs. It is sometimes confusing to guests if they don’t see escort cards or a seating chart.

Assigned Seating

All guests are assigned to specific tables, so they are guaranteed to have a place to sit. If you are doing plated meals, you MUST assign seats.

Alex's Sporty Bar Mitzvah at Marriott Bethesda Pooks Hill | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by: Susan Hornyak Photography

Pros include: Everyone has a “home base.” For a seated meal, you know which table each meal is going to.

Cons include: Assigning people, especially kids, to tables is tough, time-consuming and can lead to hurt feelings.


95% of my clients go with a hybrid method with assigned tables for adults and open seating for kids. This is the best of both worlds.

Oliver's Bar Mitzvah lounge at B'nai Israel in Rockville, MD | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Jessica Latos Photography

Pros include: Adults have a guaranteed place to sit. Kids can mingle and move around and the guest of honor doesn’t have to hurt any of their friends’ feelings.

Cons include: Honestly, I can’t think of any because this is my favorite way to do it!


Need help making the decision? Pop Color Events can help!