(Closed) Fighting with FI about seating: Assigned vs Open

posted 5 years ago in Reception
  • poll: Assigned vs Open
    Assign all tables : (105 votes)
    84 %
    Reserve 4 for family, 2 for Bridal Party and Sweetheart table : (17 votes)
    14 %
    Open seating for all : (3 votes)
    2 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    2305 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I think it’s pretty standard to have assigned seating.

    The problem with open seating is that often you may end up with awkward numbers of seats left at tables. (For instance, there are a lot of tables left open with 2 seats available, and now a family of four is having a difficult time finding somewhere to sit together, etc.)

    Additionally, having everyone try to scramble to pick their own seats can cause a lot of chaos and may end up taking more time to get everyone situated in their seats than you had originally planned.

    Post # 4
    Member
    9956 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    I have been to a lot of social events in my lifetime (I am over 50 years old)… and quite honesty there are PROS and CONS to each

    The PROS to open seating is you inevitably meet new people

    The CONS are sometimes you find yourself awkwardly looking for a table to sit at… and ending up with people you don’t know (fit in with… but then again it is ONLY Dinner and an hour or two out of your life)

    Personally, I much prefer going to an event where there is reserved seating… because more often than not the Host has matched up folks who either already know each other, or have similar interests etc.

    Plus, then as a Guest, I know what I am supposed to do… as rachelmichelle said it can suck to be in a situation where you are “searching” for a place to sit when seats aren’t assigned… more so if you are more than 1 or 2 people in your party

    Also, I’ve been to unassigned seating events, where people have felt the need to “reserve” their chosen spots… and done everything from setting down their jackets, throws and purses… thru to tipping the chairs forward against the table (not that great an idea… as then the legs are sticking out into the aisleways) and consequently making whatever venue, look… uuuummmm quite tacky

    So no, I am all in favour of assigned seating

    May be more work for the host, but less hassle / confusion for the Guests.

     

     

    Post # 5
    Member
    2589 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    So… I can see both sides of this because I orginally wanted to do open seating.

    But when I met with our venue coordinator, she argued strongly in favor of TABLE (not specific seat) assignments…and she won me over.

    She’s done over 100 weddings.  She said any more than 50-75 guests, the transition from cocktail hour to dining is pretty much chaos without a seating plan… with people pulling chairs away from tables and cramming them in, couples who don’t know other guests standing there looking shellshocked or awkward, and groups of 2 or more ending up needing to sit at different tables or grab more chairs.

    People will have PLENTY of time to mingle after dinner. And if there are any major dramz right before the wedding, you can make a quick adjustment.  It IS an extra (and pretty stressful) task, but, I think its a really good idea and will end up reducing stress in the long run.

    Post # 6
    Member
    213 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I personally prefer open seating. A lot less work for you and I don’t want to tell people where to sit. It’s their choice! I don’t think it’s hectic.

    Post # 7
    Member
    786 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    My vote is to assign tables and this is mainly bc you are having a plated dinner. I agree with all of the other PP’s on the fact that sometimes open seating can be awkward to find a place if you have more than 2 people in your group. Having assigned seating when you have a plated dinner can also be less of a hassle and hopefully make things run smoother when your wait staff knows how many plates of what needs to go to each table.  Plus, you don’t have to assign the actual seats, just the tables..that will give your guests the option to sit next to whomever they choose.

    Post # 8
    Member
    5664 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Personally I much prefer assigned seating over getting randomly stuck at a table with people I have nothing in common with at the reject table. Unless it’s completely unheard of in your area I suggest at least assigned tables. It just makes things much less chaotic and takes out the uncomfortable guess work for guests. I always feel like unassigned seating is a popularity contest and takes me back to high school

    Post # 9
    Member
    3569 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I agree with assigning tables. When you have a guest list that is hundred plus it just saves the time and headahces. I also know people will cram into one table with all of their freinds and family and leave the people who don’t know anyone to sit at the table all alone.

    Post # 11
    Member
    3183 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    I don’t see how open seating is going to work with only 4 extra spaces.  Couples or groups could end up split up because they didn’t rush in first.  Although arranged seating can result in not everyone getting their IDEAL table, it does result in everyone getting a pretty good table with people they know. 

    ETA – also agree with assigning tables, not seats.  That way, even if the two aunts are fighting they can get across from each other and not feel awkward if they aren’t talking. 

    Post # 12
    Member
    3183 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    Also I don’t like the the idea of just assigning some tables.  It seems like it could be confusing and creates an atmosphere of hierarchy among guests. 

    Post # 13
    Member
    611 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    Just have to chime in to echo PPs… assigned seating is for sure the way to go with that many people. I think assigned tables is the best compromise–that way people can choose where within the table they want to sit, but they know there’s a spot reserved for them and that they’ll be seated with people they are comfortable with.

    I don’t understand your FI’s argument that people will resent being “forced” to sit in a given location. First of all, most people are used to it, as I think it is the way seating at wedding receptions is typically done. Secondly, the whole point of you doing a seating assignment is so that you can place guests with people they know (or, failing that, people they will be able to converse with). As a wedding guest I infinitely prefer assigned tables to unassigned, for the reasons people have stated above–you don’t want to get stranded at a table with total strangers, you don’t want to have to break up parties of guests into the leftover one or two spots at other tables, etc. 

    ETA: the one wedding i attended with unassigned seating had a very large hall, with far more seats than guests, so it wasn’t a big deal if all the tables didn’t get completely filled. You are so close to your max capacity that you don’t have that luxury. And while I ended up at a table with people I knew, I definitely had a moment of “oh shit, who am I going to sit with?” when we entered the reception and realized tables weren’t assigned. I think you are 100% right on this one. 

    Post # 14
    Member
    625 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Similar to other PPs, when I enter into unassigned seating areas, I have that rush of first day high school anxiety. I usually quietly try to find a table to the outside, where no-one will notice if I’m stuck at the table that noone else wants to sit at. And have you ever had someone sit down with you, and you start up a conversation, and then suddenly they go “Hey! My cousins over there!” and then they pick up and leave? It’ a really shitty feeling. You end up feeling rejected which is silly, because they are under no obligation to sit with you really… you were just happy to have someone that sat down.

    This sounds super neurotic, and I’m not usually like that, but open seating is one of those things that never fails to make me feel like the unpopular kid in high school. And I’m a full grown adult. He needs to realize that it will be far more uncomfortable for people like me, then it will be for people who think assigned seating is silly. They can be assigned and will just laugh, as opposed to some who will have to scramble for seats and end up feeling shy and unwanted.

    Post # 15
    Member
    3183 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    Also once I ended up at an otherwise empty table for 8 with one friend of mine because we didn’t know anyone else there.  Other tables had seats pulled up.  It made it pretty awkward.  Obviously you won’t have that situation with being so close to capacity, just another reason I don’t like open seating. 

    Post # 16
    Member
    3176 posts
    Sugar bee

    I like assigned seating better

    The topic ‘Fighting with FI about seating: Assigned vs Open’ is closed to new replies.

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