Post # 1
I am having a buffet dinner at my wedding. I am fine with that. My questions is do I still need a seating chart? I was going to just have a few tables set aside for family and the rest for everyone else. I really want my friends (who are coming from all over) to get to know each other and I figure one of the best ways to do that is to let people pick where they want to sit.
I need your input please and lots of explanations as well. A simple yes and no is great, but I want to know the thinking behind the answer.
Post # 3
I think it depends on your style and theme of your wedding. Not having a seating chart can be overwhelming and confusing for guests. Although, as you said it does encourage more mingling and such. What about assigned tables? That is what we are doing so that everyone has a place, the tables are filled (instead of 2 at one table, and 12 trying to squeeze into another) but they can choose to sit wherever at that table.
Post # 4
@Day_In_The_Life: I am having a buffet too. I am doing a “table seating chart” if you will. I’m assiging tables not seats!
Post # 5
I’m not a fan of free seating. The best way for people to get to know one another is to assign them seats together. If not, people will probably try to group together with those they know.
Post # 6
I voted for assigned tables. I recently attended a wedding with the same guest list for the welcome dinner and wedding (about 40 people). No assigned seats at the welcome dinner and the wait staff actually had to go find an extra table – people couldn’t seem to divide themselves up correctly at the existing tables. No problem at the wedding itself (with assigned tables).
I actually think you can encourage your friends to get to know each other just as well (if not better) by assigning tables. You and FI can have fun making up the tables, grouping people together that might have something in common. I’ve met some wonderful people at wedding dinners – given my own choice of seating I probably would have stuck with people I knew well; when assigned it gave me an “excuse” to chat with new people.
Post # 7
Definitely assign tables. You don’t want the last stragglers to have to split up and find the one empty seat at tables across the room from each other. I’d be really unhappy as a guest if I had to do that.
Post # 8
Thanks! Now I just have to come up with an idea for table numbers…another thing to add to the “to do” list.
Post # 9
Buffet or not, I would definitely do assigned tables. I have never been a fan of open seating, it’s so uncomfortable especially when you don’t know anyone to try and find a table, and then you don’t have anything in common with the peopl eyou end up with and people also feel very unimportant if they didn’t have a “reserved family or friend table”. It’s kind of a pain to assign but it’s well worth it. It cuts down on a lot of chaos and discomfort. Also, if you want everyone to mingle and meet, then you should take the opportunity to sit people together that you think will enjoy meeting and talking. I had quite a few mixed tables at my wedding, and I was happy to see the people I had sat together chatting on their way up to the buffet table, and hanging out for the rest of the night.
Post # 10
I think assigned seating is even more important with a buffet than a plated dinner because the venue staff can dismiss guests by table to go up to the buffet. Otherwise, everyone will line up for food first and then look for a seat, and you will end up with a super long line.
Post # 11
Assigned tables makes everything easier for you AND your guests, regardless of the style of meal you’re serving. It also allows for more space since you don’t have to add extra tables just in case people don’t want to sit together.
For table numbers, may I suggest doing something a little personal? We chose numbers that were important to us and our guests loved it.
Post # 12
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
Well I’m going against the consensus – I don’t like seating charts. Weddings are often a chance to catch up with friends you haven’t seen in a while, and I hate being “forced” to sit with strangers when I’d rather sit with people I love but haven’t talked to in a while. (Or friends I DO see more often, for that matter.) Once dinner is over and drinks are flowing, people tend to mingle and chat anyway. I think the key with open seating is to have a few more seats than there are people, so no one gets stuck split up from their SO, etc. I’m going to have an extra table or two so that this doesn’t happen.
Post # 13
I went to a wedding without a seating chart, and my husband and I couldn’t find two seats together to sit at. It was AWESOME. But seriously, seating charts are really important and avoid the need for everyone to rush to a seat at once.
Post # 14
I say yes, for the same reasons pp’s listed above. It’s less stressful for guests, as they don’t have to figure out where their friends are sitting, who they might know, and it eliminates the feeling of a junior high lunchroom scenario. As long as you’re mindful of what table you seat guests at, then all should be good.