Not having a seat for everyone?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
442 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Yes, you need to have a chair for everyone.

Post # 4
Member
2429 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

I think you need to have a chair for everyone.  Not even for just eating but are you going to have 50 of yours guests just standing around while doing your first dance, toasts, etc.  Most people were seated during the wedding “events” at our wedding and were up walking around during cocktail hour and dancing.  We did have tall tables for people to stand at in addition to the tables, that people used during cocktail hour.  Would you have tables or places for people to put down their stuff (purses, cameras, jackets, etc) if you don’t have seating for everyone? That would just be another thing to consider.

Post # 5
Member
289 posts
Helper bee

@mixtapehearts:  I am doing something similar. It’s more of a cocktail reception. I went to a wedding like that this summer and it was great! No one complained and everyone had a great time. For the ceremony, however, I think you need seats for everyone.

Post # 6
Hostess
8680 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Is this an all-night reception as well? If so, I would find it very rude to not provide seats to all of your guests. If you were just doing a cocktail hour and then having an after party or something some place else, it wouldn’t be so bad.. but if you expect your guests to dance/stay for awhile I would highly consider having enough seats for everyone.

 

Post # 7
Member
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Etiquette Snob here… lol

YES, you need a chair for everyone… despite what the Venue Manager says
Undecided *rolls eyes*

As a Host you need to provide for the comfort of your Guests… you don’t get to arbitrarily decide that people “might not want to sit down”… that is THEIR choice.

Hope this helps,

 

Post # 8
Member
545 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@mixtapehearts:  If you’re just doing a cocktail party reception and not all the traditional “sit around and watch/listen” events (multiple speeches, couple dances, garter/bouquet toss) I think it’s fine to not have seats for everyone. Plan activities to keep people moving around. If there’s a grassy area, you can have lawn games. Can you include more casual seating options like couches, armchairs to encourage mingling? Is 125 how many you’re inviting or expecting? How long will the reception be? Will there be dancing?

FWIW we had 80 adult guests and a standing ceremony and cocktail hour with passed appetizers, followed by a sit down dinner. There were a few benches for guests to sit on during cocktail hour, but everyone was fine standing. During dancing, we had ample seating (about 50 chairs were in the dancing area, the tables and chairs from dinner were on a separate floor and cleared following the meal), but really only needed about a dozen chairs since most people danced. We had no traditional “sit and watch” activities. There was a free coat room for guests to store jackets and bags (it was summer). 

Post # 9
Member
442 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Yeah, where do you propose people put their stuff if they want to go dance or get food?

Post # 10
Member
1902 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

My reception was cocktail style with passed hors d’oeuvres, carving stations and some other food stations.  We did not have chairs for all of our guests, and it was totally fine.  At a cocktail reception, you don’t need to have a chair on the off chance that every single person will want to sit down at the same time.  People mingled, they went to the bar, some sat and ate.  Others stood at cocktail tables.  If you’re having a more formal meal, you should only invite as many guests as you can seat.

 

While we did have the traditional first dance, mother/son, father/daughter dance, we skipped all of the formal speeches.

 

This is completely the norm in New Orleans where most wedding receptions are no longer than 3-4 hours.

 

 

 

Post # 12
Member
442 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

You should have a chair for everyone. Even if your ceremony starts at 7, that’s four hours long. I think your “perfect” venue isn’t perfect unless you can cut your guest list by 50. Seriously. Don’t do this to people, they won’t like it and might leave early.

Even if some people don’t mind standing, I imagine that people will “claim” seats by putting their purses/jackets there, and even if they aren’t sitting, their chair will look unavailable. It doesn’t matter if the seats/tables don’t match, think about the comfort of your guests.

Post # 13
Hostess
8680 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Even if you view your reception as “just a party” your guests view it as.. your reception.. because it is.

Guest comfort is kind of a big deal.

What type does the cocktail hour start? If its more than a few hours I would find a way to rent more tables and chairs.. and if that’s not possibly, at least purchase or rent some additional lounge seating.

 

Post # 14
Member
1679 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

We did a cocktail style moving reception with 75 guests and about 50 chairs during the reception (we had full seating for the ceremony). I think maybe 20 of the chairs were used during the reception!!!! People were too busy mingling and dancing to sit! We did have lounge furniture scattered around the venue and that was used more then the regular chairs. 

Eta: just read your “it’s more of a party were happening to get married at” that’s EXACTLY how we wanted our wedding to be & a cocktail style reception is a great way to convey that!

Post # 16
Member
2535 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

we had this worry and so we got a huge place …. and half of our guests didn’t show ( this is normal in my culture) so it was very empty and I noticed alot of people didn’t sit … but we did not have a meal. just finger foods and cup cakes. but my experiance was very. unqiue.

 

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