I suppose if you do a plated dinner, you don't have to assign seats, just assigning tables is sufficient. Is that correct? I'd like to get by with assigning tables - having escort cards and table numbers. I've been searching for escort card displays that I like, and I think I may go with a simple ivory card with gold calligraphed names, hung from ivory grosgrain ribbon (or maybe pale blue). Here are some images I'm drawing inspiration from.
On a side note, I really need to learn how to do calligraphy! It would save me a small fortune! Or heck, maybe I will scrap the whole "dinner" all together and just make the reception one big cocktail party!