Post # 1
As my reception is drawing near (18 days to be exact!) I’ve been looking up some ideas for how to make our reception location fancy-ish without spending a righteous fortune and/or making things too complicated. That being said: is it necessary to do the whole “so-and-so sits at this table” thing? Has anyone bucked this tradition and has it worked out well? It just seems like so much effort to put together a seating chart that will please everyone and not offend anyone with where they’re sitting. Advice? Ideas? Experience? Please let me know!
Post # 2
ren89: please do a seating chart, especially if it’s for more than twenty guests.
I have been to two different weddings where there was no seating chart and I didn’t enjoy it. At one wedding there were tables meant for eight people that only had two people at it. At the second wedding my family had to split up because there weren’t any tables with five spots left.
I’m not a fan of having to search out a seat. When we created our chart we made sure to sit people together who we felt would get on well.
Post # 3
Well… here in México, no one does that. But it is a whole different culture so yeah. The thing we do is we place little “reserved” signs for the brides and grooms family and everyone else sits wherever they want.
But that’s what we are used to here… I am not sure how people where you live would react.
Post # 4
ren89: The problem is that without a seating chart or assigned seating of some sort your honored guests (family especially) may find the only empty table is at the back of the room; guests will leave odd numbers of seats empty; a family of 5 may only find 2 seats at one table and 3 at another; some people will grab a chair from another table and move a place setting so there are 11 people jammed in at one table and empty space at another. Not everyone at the overfilled table will be happy having the extra guest and less space.
It really doesn’t take that much time to go through your guest list, put their names on post-it notes to mock up the seating, then formalize the final result into a seating chart.
Post # 5
ren89: A seating arrangement is ideal, a said above, it’s best to make sure the people who want to sit together sit together. I am sure no one will get offended, it’ a wedding they are there for you.
To cut cost, I didn’t make a chart, I printed the seating lists out and “hired” (for free) the use of my teenaged cousins and had them do guest list at the reception door (one on each side) check and tell people what table they are sitting..then I had placecards at the spots. You can do the list in alphabetical order and have a column for table number. You can have the people on guest list highlight any name that came through….in this way you can do double duty and make sure no uninvited guests come through and see who didn’t come without saying anything. Also to me it actually looks nicer since a lot of exclusive parties usually do guest lists…it makes your party feel exclusive and “upper class-ish”
Post # 6
ren89: Please do a seating chart. It’s an awful experience, as a guest, to find out you have to separate from your partner, or that the chair you thought you had secured is now occupied by someone else. It’s really nice to have a spot all your own.
Post # 7
I agree with doing a seating chart. You can very easily make escort cards using almost anything you can think of. I personally plan to use ferrero rochers, and little signs with their names on toothpicks stuck in them.
Post # 8
Thank you to all those who have commented! Weddings have never been my “thing”. I’ve loved the planning process but never knew how important a seating chart would be. How would you suggest avoiding the potential issue of people getting offended by where they’re asked to sit? I’m not concerned with who sits with whom I just don’t want the “they got to sit closer to the head table than I did!” drama.
Post # 9
ren89: Here’s what we did: the closest two tables were for the two immediate families. The next closest few tables were for extended family. The furthest tables were for friends. I think friends understand that family is generally closer. Inevitably some friends are closer than others, but we had no complaints.
Though I’ve never seen it done myself, some people suggest allocating tables but not seats. That still groups people where they “belong” (appropriately close, and with people they know), but with less work. But I found that once we’d settled on who went at which table, the seating at each table was pretty easy.
Post # 10
Please, any wedding over 20 or so have table assignments. Otherwise, you end up with people saving seats, others feeling like the unpopular kids in high school. And if you do go with no assigned tables, you really have to have at least 10% extra seats – which means more centerpeices, linens, etc. I agree, no need to do seats, just tables, and I have seen that. No need for placecards at tables, just a board at the entry with names, table number or name, and then table number at table.
Post # 11
I am giving people their table, but not their exact seat. For my chart, I am just doing a wooden plaque with numbers on it because I won’t have visible table numbers.
Post # 12
We did tables but did not assign seats. We only had 100 guests but it worked out beautifully and everyone was happy with their tables. The way we made it work was we didn’t stick to a certain amount of people at each table. Some tables had 7 people others had 10. Depended on the group.
I also recommend seating older guests farther from the dancing and your younger guests closer. It really gets the party going.
Post # 13
ren89: PLEASE do a seating chart. The few weddings I have been to without it have been a bit of a disaster.
Post # 14
MangoSong: actually we didn’t do one and it was fine. People didn’t stay in one seat the whole time anyway, everyone was moving around, talking and getting to know each other. It was fabulous. Of course, we had about 40 people at the most… smaller numbers alarming means no need for assigned seating. No disasters happened and the guests all had a lovely time.
Post # 15
ren89: Maybe it worked for yours. Also, the bride and groom don’t always know about what complaints guests have. Not having a seating chart is one of things as a guest makes for inconvenience.