Post # 1
Just as the title says…FI and I are considering having open seating at the reception, but I have never been to a wedding reception like that. How chaotic would it all be? Any good experiences? Any potential problems to consider?
Post # 3
How many guests do you have? Unless you are having a very small reception, I’d assign tables. It’s so awkward otherwise.
Post # 4
I dont know if chaos is the right word, but think of these things:
+ people start moving chairs so they can sit with everyone they want. Soon you have 12 people at one table and 4 at another.
+ People get split up looking for open seats.
+ Your bridal party and parents come in last. They will get last choices on seats and tables and may be stuck in corners or split up from each other.
I highly recommend assigning tables. Then you can make sure people are sitting with others they know and people that don’t know others can sit with other singles, or others they may get along with. For example, for some of my guests that wouldn’t know many others, we sat them with very outgoing, friendly, warm people that would make them feel included.
Specific seats don’t need to be assigned (unless maybe you have a plated meal, but then it’s really just the name tags that need to coded), but tables just help move things along much more quickly.
Post # 5
I’m considering doing the same. Some important considerations are:
-Does everyone get along? Can ccertain family members/friends sit together without any awkwardness?
-Will guests who don’t know each other be comfortable sitting together? Are they shy/outgoing?
I had a very awkward situation at a friend’s wedding when I was sat with my former roommate (who I did not get along with and hadn’t seen in 8 years). For the first hour she refused to look at even make eye contact with me. It was very uncomfortable but eventually I spoke to her and she came around. Despite the unfortunate situation I’m kind of glad it happened because we were able to get over old grievances.
Essentially, you have to try to consider who your guests are and what they’d prefer. I know it is your day but it is important to make it an enjoyable, memorable day for everyone.
Post # 6
We had 120 people at our wedding, had no assigned seats, and it was perfectly fine. Not chaotic at all. No one complained, and everyone had a seat.
Post # 7
I always think this is a bad idea. There will be someone who comes later and can only find a seat at the boring old people table, or a kids table or something. Always better to plan out who your guests would enjoy sitting with and not leave it to chance.
Post # 8
- Wedding: August 2015 - Country Club
I went to a very small wedding (20-30 ppl maybe) with no seating chart and it wasnt chaotic; I also went to a wedding with well over 85 guests, and it was pretty chaotic considering the couple apparently invited more people than they could sit. and me and DH and his friend and friend’s girlfriend felt awkward at the table we managed to sit at. So it depend on the amount of guests and type of wedding you are going for.
Post # 9
I have been to two weddings without assigned seating and they both had problems. e.g. Parties of 4 couldn’t find 4 seats together, one couple was even split up, although at the same table, because no one would move.
I wouldn’t do it.
Post # 10
Ugh I hate open seating. Groups get splilt up and can’t sit together, or you end up with 10 people at one table and 3 at another, etc. I’d just assign tables.
Post # 11
@LTD418: Bad idea. Far better to give thought and consideration to your seating choices.
Post # 12
I’ve never been to a wedding WITH a seating chart! We’ve never had a problem at all. Honestly, once the music starts, no one cares about chairs anyways.
Post # 13
@LTD418: i would take the time to do a chart to save any possibility of problems (great or small) at your wedding.
brides put a lot of time and thought into table linens, centrepieces and placesettings; you don’t want guests to start moving these things around just to fit 2 more people here or 3 over there, or putting tables together, etc.
as a guest, i would prefer a seating chart. i do not want to walk around looking for a place to sit. it’s like the in the cafeteria on the first day of a new high school.
Post # 14
We had open seating. It was fine and one less thing for me to stress about. We had about 100 people and if 8 had assigned seating I would have had people pulling chairs to tables to sit together anyway. We had a buffet and most people barely sat be a use everyone was visiting with each other.
Post # 15
@LTD418: if it’s not something that’s done at wedding you go to, it might be hard to get your family and friends on board and things might get chaotic. I do think it can work for very small weddings where there is only 1 or 2 tables, or for groups that are used to it.
Post # 16
Thank you all for the comments. Our wedding is going to be under 150 people at the rate the rsvps are looking. I was leaning towards table assignments but with such a big group, I really don’t want to have to make 150 escort cards, so we were toying with the idea. Less than 1 month to decide.