Assigned tables – must have, or not worth the effort?

posted 2 years ago in Reception
  • poll: Assigned Tables - yes or no?
    YES - Save me a spot! : (44 votes)
    88 %
    NO - Let me find my own table! : (6 votes)
    12 %
  • Post # 2
    Member
    6026 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2014

    If you’re having a plated meal with choice of entree, then a seating chart is a must; it is what helps the servers get the correct food to the correct tables.

    If you are having buffet, or no choices (everyone gets the same plate) then it is not as required but as you point out, not having a seating chart makes people feel like they are in high school again, fighting for their space at the “cool kid” table in the cafeteria. 

    So personally I would say, do the seating chart. You don’t need to spend a lot of money; my sister used her home printer for her table cards and bought a package of card stock at the local Office Depot for about $9, and did a little card template using Word. She did tent-fold cards and didn’t even need holders for them, and drew a floor plan and took it to Office Depot to print poster-size for about $30 and just got an el cheapo frame at the World Market.

    As for yourfriends who don’t know anyone, you are going to be pretty much unavailable during dinner because the vendors and all the guests will keep interrupting you, so having them at your table won’t really make them feel less uncomfortable, although it is a nice gesture. You can get “ice breaker” conversation cards on Amazon for like $25 a box, just put a few of those on each table and let guests start talking to each other.

    Post # 3
    Member
    2873 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I am in a very rare minority here, but I deeply dislike assigned tables/seating at a wedding.   It makes me feel more like elementry/high school than having to find my own place to sit.  I disliked teachers telling me where to sit (especially as I didn’t act up)  I am sociable, and like mingling.  And my group of friends and family is the absolute WORST to take to a resteraunt, as we are the types that will switch seats half way through a meal to sit next to someone we want to talk to at that point. 

    That said, you are likely going to get a majority of people talking about really wanting you to save a seat for them.  What I would really go by is how your crowd does at weddings.  I have been to ONE wedding with a seating chart.  Where I’m from, its odd to wierd to have assigned seating, so I didn’t have it.  If it’s really normal in your area, probably better off just doing it.

    Post # 4
    Member
    130 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    As a guest, especially having been “that person” who doesn’t know anyone else, assigned tables are so helpful. You don’t have to assign seats, but taking time to thoughtfully consider who might enjoy each others’ company is part of being a good host, and it will go a long way toward keeping things organized (so that eleven people aren’t cramming around a table, blocking aisles, while two people sit awkwardly alone). If you have family members who don’t understand, or ignore, the assigned tables, whatever. But for your guests who also hate the “middle school cafeteria” feeling, it will be such a relief! 

    As you assign tables, you may remember some guests who are good conversationalists and would enjoy meeting the 3-4 guests who only know you and your fiance. You could also call them up ahead of time, or leave them little notes on the tables about each other. Otherwise, clear it with your parents first, but sure, why not sit them with you? Just remember that you’ll probably have every single conversation you start the entire day interrupted by people who “just want to stop by to say hello and give you a hug.” 

    Post # 5
    Hostess
    8680 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2014

    We are having no more than 80 guests but we are still doing one. I’d hate for my guests to get stuck at tables where they have nothing in common.

    Post # 6
    Member
    1566 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    cassclaw:  Having assigned tables will help to make sure that parents get seated with people they want to be seated with, and that people who don’t know others get seated with friends who will be good at introducing themselves and bringing them out of their shells.

    I’ve been to too many weddings where there aren’t assigned tables and I end up either sitting in the wrong place and displacing guests of honor, or end up shoved to the edges and at an empty table.

     

    Post # 7
    Member
    979 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2015

    We’re having a bigger wedding (200 is our max for our venue, so probably in the 175-200 range) but as a guest I’ve always hated non-assigned seating.

     

    IMO assigned seats are only for when you’re really eating and to sit your stuff down somewhere, the rest of the time is typically spent mingling/dancing.

    I’ve been to too many weddings where I didn’t know anyone but my guest and it was always annoying that I got stuck at the table farthest away just bc of that.

    Now creating the seating chart on the other hand?!?! shoot me now lol

    Post # 8
    Member
    3709 posts
    Sugar bee

    I just asked that question, to my next door neighbor’s mother, who has volunteered at her local fire company’s banquet room, for over 50 years. She said a definite YES! If not, you end up with some tables with 4 people sitting there, looking lost, and others squashed with 12, because people move the chairs and place settings. 

    My adult daughter’s went to a family wedding and didn’t want to get stuck sharing a table with their much younger cousins – there were no assigned tables. They got stuck sitting with them, anyway, and listening to them talk about Harry Potter, for 4 hours. 

    Post # 9
    Member
    559 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    Please assign tables. Do it for couples like me and my husband, who had a hard time finding parking at the reception and arrived later than our friends so had to spend 3 hours chatting with random people because there was nowhere else to sit. Do it for people like my uncle who didn’t have a good spot to sit at our cousin’s (his son’s!) wedding because by the time he got back from photos people had taken up all the good seats. Do it for people like me who would feel mortified asking someone I didn’t know if I could sit with them, especially if I later found out they were saving a seat for someone else. Do it so grandma doesn’t have to sit with random drunk college friend. Do it so that the tables and chairs are spaced evenly, so you have 4 at each table instead of 6 people cramming into one table and leaving 2 people by themselves. Do it so that if you have someone who didn’t RSVP, they’re the ones w/o a seat, not someone who RSVP’d but showed up a little late and now has nowhere to sit. Please do it.

    Post # 10
    Member
    2358 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    It will not make everybody happy no matter what u do. I had family say they didn’t want me telling them where they could or couldn’t sit, and some telling me they wanted to be sat right next to so-n-so to make sure they had someone to talk to. Go figure. 

    But I will stress what PP said about plated dinner with choice of food. The serving staff will likely require a seating arrangement with meal choices so they know who gets what entree.

    Post # 11
    Member
    208 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    I always prefer assigned tables (specific seats arent necessary). I’m terribly socially awkward, so walking around asking random people if seats are taken is the worst. It certainly won’t ruin my evening or anything, but I like it better when I can skip that part.

    Post # 12
    Member
    319 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    I used to think I would never do assigned seating, but after a wedding I went to this weekend I 100% am. It was a wonderful wedding, but it was awkward because my fiance and I didn’t really know but a few of the other guests. Because seh didn’t have assigned seating, there turned out to not be enought seats for everyone. While we were there we had to awkwardly shuffle around trying to find a sweat, not knowing if the tables were filled, or reserved for anyone else. I think it’s great to group people that know each other together, and the ones that dont you can sit with people you think they’ll get along with. It was a fun wedding, but I think it would have been more comfortable for the guests with a seating arrangment. I officially started working on mine right after haha.

    Post # 13
    Member
    2261 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    My wedding is mostly traditional to my FI’s culture, and thank GOD they don’t do seating charts!!! 

    Post # 14
    Member
    8025 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2015

    SarahCF:  exactly.

    A few hours of effort from you will make for a more relaxed and seamless experience for everybody else.

    Post # 15
    Member
    281 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    cassclaw:  Do you remember lessons when the teacher said you can sit/work with whoever you want? 

    If you don’t assign tables you will need to have plenty of extra seats. You don’t want there to be a scrabble to sit next to friends.

    There is bound to be people left with others they do not know, don’t get along with or even left on their own witht heir friends/family on another table because there wasn’t enough seats.

     

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