Before you send out the invitations, write each guest name on a post it and attach it to a paper plate which represents a table so you can start to have an idea who the guests might sit with.
As the regrets start to arrive in the mail, remove the names from the paper plate
As tables get fewer guests you can start to consolidate the tables (the paper plates) to other tables
Once you have all of your responses back you should be done seating your guests which in the long run will save you a lot of time
Helpful hint: number the response cards on the back in pencil with a number which corresponds with the guest list, this way if a guest forgets to write their name on the response card you will know who it came from.
What place cards to use? It is best to use the more classic escort card which is a small envelope with the guest name on the envelope and the table assignment on the card inside.
When using these it is much easier to move guests around at the last minute.
Choice of entrée? You are invited to a Wedding by formal invitation and should not be asked what you would like to eat that evening; you don’t do that when you have guests for to dinner to your home or when you are invited to someone’s home for dinner yourself, I am not sure why or how is got started so let’s stop this practice.