Post # 1
Should I have a seating chart at my reception? There will be approximately 80 guests. We have 12 round tables that seat 8 people each. It is a buffet lunch.
Reasons I think yes- It’s a rather small space and we won’t have a lot of extra seats available. I’d hate for couples or families to be split up because they can’t find seats together.
Also, half of my family members are conservative Christians while the other half are very liberal. It might be a good idea to monitor them.
Reasons I think no- I’m pretty sure we will have people show up who haven’t rsvp’d (not uncommon with our social group) including people who bring +1’s.
If I do a seating chart I will probably just assign tables and try to leave one open seat at each one in case we get a +1 somewhere.
Post # 3
Unless you are doing a name specific favor (such as a picture frame with names on it or wine you do not want to give underagers) then I would just assign the table, but not the seat.
Post # 4
I’ve been contemplating this myself. We have appx 130 guests and I have been so against a seating chart, but now that I think more about it, I kinda like the idea of having assigned tables…that way no one gets split up and you don’t have that awkward moment where everyone just kinda stands in the doorway looking for a seat lol
Post # 5
Yes; make a table assigment. Your guests will thank you. 🙂
Post # 6
Assign tables, and leave an empty seat at each table if you think you need to. As a guest it is much more relaxing to know I have a designated place to sit with my husband (and hopefully other people we know or would have things in common with) without having to do a mad dash to get seats together, or wander awkwardly asking people if we can join their table.
Post # 7
I’m not doing a seating chart. ~110 people, plated starter and buffet meal. Honestly you will never make everyone 100% happy with a seating chart, no matter how much time you spend on it, and someone’s going to end up split up or sitting with strangers or sitting with someone they don’t like. It’s an awful lot of work for very little benefit.
To prevent problems with people not making best use of space and ending up with scattered solo seats, we’ve asked our caterer and our cruise director (the wedding is on a boat) to guide folks to tables based on party size, and kind of oversee where everyone ends up. You could appoint just about anyone to fill this role, because guests are going to listen to someone who is giving instructions and acting as an “in charge” type person, even if they’re taking directions from another guest.
If you let “open seating” turn chaotic, it will, but if you plan ahead, you can manage it pretty easily, with very little work.
Post # 8
I think you definitely need to assign tables, or else you could have stragglers coming in wi no choice but to split up. But let them pick seats!
Post # 9
assign table but not seat
Post # 10
As much of a pain it is, and as much as some will complain about the location, 80 guests can become chaotic if theren’t aren’t assigned tables. And as PP mentioned, you don’t want to have later arrivals being forced to split up.
Bottom line – the seating chart will help the guests (by ensuring they are sitting with their date and at least a few people they know) and help you (by making the “finding a seat” a smooth and FAST process).
Assigning seats seems a bit unncessary unless you had your heart set on doing pretty name placecards I guess. It is just as easy to have escort cards with the meal choices on them – guests generally know that they are supposed to mark their chosen seat with their escort cards. That said, assigned seats at the head table do make sense.
Post # 11
As a guest I find it painfully awkward when I’m not assigned a table to sit at. I don’t want to be too presumptuous and sit to close to the head table. I don’t want to split up families. I don’t want to wander around and say “is this seat taken.” Please, just tell me I’m one of the “freaks at table 9” and let me own it. 🙂