Seating at reception (assigned vs open); What did you do/are you doing?

posted 3 years ago in Reception
  • poll: What type of seating did you/will you have?
    Open seating--sit wherever you want! : (22 votes)
    17 %
    Assigned Tables--find your table number and claim a seat : (87 votes)
    67 %
    Assigned Seating--guests will have a table number and a selected seat : (21 votes)
    16 %
    Cocktail Style--standing room only, there were no seats : (0 votes)
  • Post # 3
    Member
    9949 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2013

    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
    Member
    2328 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    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
    Member
    1896 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    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
    Member
    6506 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2013

    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
    Member
    845 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    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
    Member
    11734 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    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 # 10
    Member
    307 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    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
    Member
    1670 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    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
    Member
    3112 posts
    Sugar bee

    @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
    Member
    8910 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • 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
    Member
    9949 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2013

    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
    Member
    3442 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    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.

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