Post # 1
Ugh, my mother has been great so far in the wedding process. No crazy demands, very mellow and easy going. Well today (with 3 weeks to go), I mentioned almost being done with the seating chart. She proceeded to ask why I was doing a seating chart. I explained that I am doing assigned tables, but not assigned seating. My rationale is that I would like to group people based on who they might know or who they might get along with. Also, I am making it a point to keep 4 guests in particular away from certain people (a crazy aunt, my opinionated grandfather and my friend who cannot stand her own mother).
I honestly don’t know what the typical strategy is for guest seating, but this is one thing I prefer sticking to. My mother is a little bent out of shape and keeps saying that she has never been to or worked at (she used to do catering) a wedding where guests had assigned tables/or seating. I am a little frustrated with her right now, but I let the coversation go and I changed the subject.
My plan is to stick with assigned tables regardless. My question, is what did you/are you doing for guest seating?
Post # 3
We had assigned seating because we had a plated dinner, so it was easier to make sure everyone was able to get the food they ordered. I think it depends largely on food!
Post # 4
That’s interesting because Im completely the opposite of your mother and Ive never been to a wedding that didn’t have assigned seating! we are having assigned seating. I think, unless all your guests know each other AND get on then assigned seating is the way to go.
Post # 5
I tend to think the table assignment is necessary (so those who don’t know anyone aren’t left isolate) but I think seating is too much stress to worry about. It’s never been an issue in terms of food at the weddings I’ve been to either.
Post # 6
We did assigned tables. I would never do open seating at an event with more than one table. I hate that feeling of walking into a room and trying to find a spot. With assigned tables you know you have a spot and hopefully the host knew enough to put you with people you know or at least have similar interests to.
Post # 7
Assigned tables for family-style dinner. The caterer needed to know how many kids and vegetarians were at each table in order to portion the platters of food appropriately.
Post # 8
We did assigned tables, but not assigned seats. I didn’t want to force people to sit with who I thought they’d mesh well with, and preferred for them to mingle how they saw fit. It worked out really well!
Also, we did a plated dinners, and just denoted meal choices on the back of the place card so the waiters could easily tell which meal went to which guest.
Post # 9
@peachacid: We are doing food stations, not plated. But still I feel more comfortable with assigned tables.
@FromA2B2013: About 70% of our guests know each other, the other percent (mostly our friends from college) don’t know a lot of people. My plan is to put them at tables with people they generally know.
@Andthepupmakes3: Exactly my thoughts! I was in a wedding in May where there was a head table for the wedding party and then open seating for 150 guests. My FI and my friend’s husband (she was a BM as well), got stuck at a table completely by themselves because they didn’t know anybody and all the other family members were grouping together.
@MrsBeck: I completely agree. I just feel more comfortable knowing guests won’t have to hunt down a spot. I hate that feeling.
Post # 10
I have been to several weddings without any kind of assigned seating, and it really took away from the experience both times–definitely do it!
One wedding was a not-so-close friend from college with a huge wedding, which means I knew over 20 other people…but since they were all better friends with each other than with me, no one saved me a seat, so I got to eat with strangers. I left asap after the meal because it was so awkward.
Two of my cousins did open seating with some “reserved” signs. In both cases, one of the table was reserved for “family” but we couldn’t figure out if that was us or not (at one it was, the other it wasn’t) and so spent the first 15 minutes of the reception frantically trying to save a table for all the family that had flown in for the wedding to sit together.
Every other wedding I’ve been to had assigned tables and it makes it much easier, and I don’t feel awkward or uncomfortable, especially if I don’t know too many people.
Post # 11
We are having manned stations with some service. We are still doing assigned seating. I cannot abide showing up at a wedding and having to awkwardly figure out who to sit with.
Post # 12
@bmo88: I dislike being at a reception with assigned seating. I feel very stuck and usually don’t get to talk with friends and family nearly as much. But of course it’s regional. Where I’m from there is only open seating.
Post # 13
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
We have some friends who are saying the same thing. Yeah yeah, I know we’re all laid back and a seating chart seems all fussy, but for a 160+ person wedding, it’ll make things a lot simpler.
Just stick to your plan!!!
Post # 14
Another reason in favor of assigned tables (which is easier than assigned seats!) is that everyone knows they have a seat. None of that “omg it’s 7th grade in the cafeteria” panic.
Post # 15
I’m only doing assigned seating for our immediate families, which is basically the two tables closest to the sweetheart table. We have a signs that say “Reserved For Bride’s Family” & “Reserved For Grooms Family.” The rest of the tables are open seating, except the tables for our bridal party.
Our families get along (& the ones that don’t just avoid each other) so it was a win-win. Less work, & people get to sit with the people they actually enjoy being around instead of me taking a guess.
Post # 16
@lolot: We will only have 84 guests, but like another PP mentioned, I hate that lunch room panic feel where you walk in and have to find a seat and grab it. I think it is especially difficult for couples or families when they have to find clusters of seats (2-4 seats) at the same table.