(Closed) Casual Wedding – No seating chart? What was your experience?

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
Member
2250 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I’m responding because I really want to hear what others have to say! I’m planning a very informal outdoor wedding myself, and feel strange creating a formal seating chart because it just doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the wedding.

Post # 4
Member
7312 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

I attended an indoor reception without a seating chart. It was fine for Mr. LK and I at first because we got there early and had our choice of seats. But the guests that arrived a bit later did not have that luck. People were shifting around, trying to accomodate new people as they arrived. Honestly, as a guest it was a royal PITA.

Post # 5
Member
625 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I was wondering this, as well. Ours will be at an outdoor pavilion and space will definitely not be an issue, but I just want to know if I still should make arrangements or not. Thanks for posting this!

Post # 6
Member
1328 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

I went to a small casual wedding with no seating chart and it was a bit of a mess.  The problem was that a family or group of friends would all sit together, and then there would be 1 or 2 extra chairs at their table.  The people that were the last to sit had to be split up and sit at whatever random chairs were open.  It wasn’t the end of the world but it would have been a lot easier if there was just a chart.

Post # 7
Member
91 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

We didn’t have a seating chart at the wedding – we did have a few “reserved” tables for immediate family and the bridal party.  I think the trick is to have more seats than you need – maybe even a whole table’s worth.

The venue’s coordinator had set up two tables outside by the dance floor for people to sit at during dancing, but a group of people sat out there because they wanted to sit together (the rest of the reception was inside a barn).  This a bit annoying to me – there were plenty of seats inside close to eachother.  However, overall it worked out.  No one complained 🙂

Post # 8
Member
839 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I have only been to one wedding that did have a seating chart. I actually prefer it that way, that way I don’t feel chained to my seat all night, and I can sit wherever I want. Just reserve a few tables for the family and that’s all you need, in my opinion. ESPECIALLY at a casual wedding.

Just make sure there is a lot of extra seating. Like a PP said, it can be a mess if you have like, the exact number of chairs as there are guests, but if there is plenty of extra seating, it’s ok if there are a few empty chairs at every table.

I think it also depends on the type of meal you’re having. If it’s a buffet, then absolutely no seating chart required in my opinion. If it’s a plated meal, I would think it would make more sense to have a seating chart, but certainly not required.

Post # 9
Member
1613 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I went to a wedding without a seating chart and it was also a mess.  My mother and I didn’t know anyone except the groom’s family who all sat together.  We ended up at a table for 6 by ourselves and ended up leaving very early because we felt uncomfortable.

Post # 10
Member
724 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

I think some kind of seating direction is required….at least for the family.  Maybe throw a few “reserved for family” signs on a few tables so they don’t have to worry about where to sit.

To be honest I am a huge fan of assigned seating as it reduces confusion and you can strategically place people so it ends up being a great time for everyone.  For us it would have sucked big time if some of my hubbies buddies got stuck at a table with my grandma…NOT a good idea.  😉

There are TONS of casual seating chart displays out there that can accomodate any theme.  To make it even easier you can just assign people to tables and not have to worry about name cards on the table.  They can chose the seat but at least they know what table they should be at.

Good luck.

Post # 11
Member
6124 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I think unless you had 50% more seating than the # of guests, it could work.

 

Otherwise, it’s really awkward to be walking around with your drink and plate of food trying to find a space to fit your family of 5 on one table.  Or if you get up to get a refill then your seat coud be snatched.

 

I don’t think you have to make a formal seating chart (as in where each butt will sit), but a general chart of which table of the name/family and which table to sit at would be very helpful. 

In summary:

Assinged TABLES, but not assigned seats.

Post # 12
Member
724 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2012
Post # 13
Member
4436 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

We’re only having 8 guests, so defnitely no chart!! lol

Post # 14
Member
8464 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I wasn’t going to do a seating chart initially (50 guests and not formal), however, so many of my guests complained about weddings without seating charts, that we decided to assign tables.  However, I hate being tied down to my seat at a wedding and I didn’t want that for my guests.  We are putting extra chairs at each table, and extra cocktail rounds all over the reception so that people can mix and mingle, but still have a guaranteed spot next to people they know.  We’re doing a buffet, so we don’t have to worry about guests getting the correct plate.

Post # 15
Member
9234 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

My sister did this at her wedding last summer and it was totally fine.  I think the key is to have an extra couple tables so that people can choose to sit together at their own table instead of have to cram piecemeal into the last few remaining seats at each table, ya know?

Post # 16
Member
64 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

My reception will be outside under a tent and I am not even planning on having enough seats for everyone to sit at one time (but I too plan on reserving a few tables for grandparents and other special guests). We will not be having a sit down dinner, but constantly flowing appetizers / small plates! I am also creating other seating areas, or gathering spaces… We will have hi-boy tables on one side of the dance floor and a lounging / seating area near the bar tent and lawn games.  In my mind it works perfectly! I imagine a mix-and-mingle fun party with all our family and close friend!

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