Post # 1
Hello fellow bees. FI and I are pretty free-spirited, and haven’t quite found a need for table numbers or name cards for the reception. Can’t people just sit wherever they want? If you’re having assigned seating, can you explain why? If it helps, we’re not having ushers for the ceremony, either. Just a person passing out programs and saying, “sit wherever you please!” 🙂
P.S. Our dinner is a buffet, and the location is an old train station downtown.
Post # 3
We’re doing table seating… I didn’t feel the need to put ppl in specific seats BUT since it’s such a blending of family and friends I did want to do table seating…
So we’ll have our tables numbered and escort cards.
I thought… this way we can be sure to put people together that we thought would benefit from spending that time together.. even if they didn’t know each other before the wedding.
I thought that if we just did wherever seating that certain famiy members and friends would merely sit with whomever they were comfortable/knew well.
We too are have a buffet set up but will still have a entree choice on the RSVP so that we know how many of each we need without making too many/not enough of one or the other.
Post # 4
I had assigned seating (by table, not each individual seat) and I did so for the comfort of my guests. For me it’s very stressful to not be assigned a seat at an event like a wedding. I feel like I have to rush to find a good seat for me and for my husband and then lay something down to “claim it” and then round up my friends and family to make sure we can all sit together. It’s just much easier to have a seat or table assigned to you so you don’t have to think about it for yourself.
Post # 5
I am with you on everything else, but I think it’s important to have assigned tables (assigned seats are not necessary, IMO) because it makes your guests have SO much more fun. I know that the wedding is really important for the couple, but the reception is really about the guests… we are all throwing huge parties, after all. Your crazy uncle will be much happier if he is sitting with family that already knows he’s crazy, and your friends will have so much more fun if they are sitting with friends they haven’t seen in a while. Neither will be happy if the friends were busy chatting/in the bathroom/at the bar when everyone sat down and got stuck across the room from everyone they know… sitting at the table with your crazy uncle.
Assigning tables is really not that hard, and it will save your guests a lot of potential discomfort/embarassment/not-having-fun/awkward conversations. Plus, if anyone hates who they are sitting with, or wants to talk to someone at a different table, they can just do that after dinner.
Post # 6
Please do assigned tables! I just went to a wedding without assigned tables, and we walked in and everyone had already claimed their table. We had to go in search of seats that were free… it was very uncomfortable and quite annoying.
If there are any guests that don’t know anyone, then they will feel very ackward without having an assigned table. Having to go up to random tables and ask if the seats were free is very uncomfortable. Even if people know one or two other couples and they all want to sit together, and they are the last to arrive, they may be forced to split up. This isn’t desirable either.
If you are set against assigned tables, consider having alternative seating options such as tall cocktail tables and lounge couches dispersed, so it gives the impression that you should move around and mingle. If it is only tables, then provide more than enough seating for your guests so that groups of 6 and groups of 4 will always find seating together.
I would only do non-assigned tables if it is a cocktail party and not a dinner (buffet or sit-down). Any event that requires you to sit down and eat should have assigned tables, IMO.
Post # 7
The weddings I’ve been to without assigned tables have been awkward. People running around trying to grab a table with their buddies, random people left alone and really weird groups of people. One wedding was a buffet so I got up to get a knife since I missed them the first time up, when I went back to my table, someone was in my seat! They just pushed my plate aside. I’m all for a casual, laid back feel but I think your guests will appreciate having one seat they can go back to all night.
Post # 8
My hub and I are pretty free spirited too but we did not only assigned tables but also seats. So here’s why we did it, we had a cocktail hour first where some people might mingle but in general they’re going to stick to people they know. There were only so many chairs that could fit at a table and so groups of people who know each other are going to get divided in different ways and groups of diff friends will have to sit together. Since that’s a given and they’re not going to have that much time to meet other people beforehand we thought we were good judges of who could get along and be social and pair up groups that had similar things going and stuff to talk about instead of a random thing of finding seats where it might be like pulling teeth to find any similarities.
For me I always get stressed at weddings if there’s no table because sometimes it’s good to meet new people but I’ve also ended up in situations were everyone knew each other except for me and so I just sat their awk, trying to contribute something but really just being the odd man out. If there was anyone who didn’t know anyone else at the wedding I had people at the table (bridemaids or groomsmen mostly) who knew that and knew conversation starters with them.
As I’m typing this it sounds crazy, but it worked out really, really well. I heard so much positive feedback about who people met and talked with during dinner.
Post # 9
There are too many “I won’t sit with them or them or them” people in our families we felt it was best to let them sit where they want.
Post # 10
I had the same experience as @Steak and it really ruined the wedding for me. We were at a friend’s wedding and I knew some of her close friends from past parties/events that the bride had hosted or that had been hosted in her honor, but didn’t know anyone well. When we walked into the reception, her friends had already pushed two tables together and squeezed around them. I would’ve asked if we could join (since they were the only people our age), but there was absolutely no room. The only free seats were at the table next to them, where no one was sitting. We grabbed those seats and then NO ONE sat with us! We felt SO stupid and awkward at our own table. Then, the photographer put all her equipment down on top of our table while we were eating, as if we weren’t even there. It was so very uncomfortable.
After that experience, I will definitely be assigning tables, though not exact seats at the table.
Post # 11
We were going to do free seating but now I’m considering just doing table numbers (after reading everyone else’s posts). I’ve been to several weddings with open seating but I do agree it’s a little bit awkward (I always keep wondering if I’ve missed the numbers somehow and I’m sitting in someone’s spot).
I never thought about being the last ones there (plus my family would probably end up with no seats together). Plus I kind of think it would be fun to make cute table numbers! Like I need another DIY.
Sorry no help hear but I think I’m a convert!
Post # 12
I really dislike going to weddings where i have to seat at a certain table. If i sit in the back I cant see whats going on (if they have the ceremony same place) We are just letting people sit where they want however for my parents and his dad and siblings we will have two special tables reserved.
Post # 13
Assigned tables for sure!
Post # 14
Assigned tables, maybe assigned seats…….just depends if I feel like DIY-ing cute place cards!
But, for us, assigned tables are a must even though we want to have a fun, people moving around, action stations + band + excitement kind of atmosphere. We have been to several weddings where we did not have seats! There were supposedly enough seats for everyone, but we couldn’t find any spaces open because people put drinks at the spot or jackets on the chair and then roamed around the room, etc. We didn’t even eat because we had no where to put our food 🙁
Post # 15
I plan on doing assigned tables.
Post # 16
I agree with most of the previous posters–assigned tables make it easier for your guests. You don’t end up with one empty chair at each table and couples needing to split up to eat.