Why do we need a seating chart?

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
Member
3756 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

I’ve seen a few threads about this and apparently it can cause quite a bit of chaos. We will definitely have a seating chart. I want to avoid my parents/grandparents getting stuck at a table in the back while some randoms take up the front tables. 

Post # 4
doilyMember
1734 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Father's Vineyard Church/ A Touch of Class Banquet Center

@mrspinesol:  We did a seating chart to ensure that that the tables filled evenly and that people who may not know a lot of people would be seated with friendly people who would be open to chatting with strangers. I have been to weddings with no seating chart and the seating ends up super wonky and have seen partners have to split up because there was no available seating together at tables (like just an open spot at four different tables). It’s not always necessary (like if you are having a super intimate wedding with a low number of guests), but it’s kind of nice at larger weddings and cases like what we had.

Post # 5
Member
610 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - Smithfield Center

There’s a few reasons why seating charts are helpful.

First, you may have certain family members that can’t stand others. For example, my dad and mom were never married and aren’t together anymore. Because of that, my mother’s parents do not like my dad, and so I need to sit them apart. 

Now you’re going to say, “well, why can’t they just pick their seats apart?” Imagine this: you have a room full of 100 people trying to find seats. If there’s no chart, you’re not conducting where people are sitting and what if it happens that the only available seats are at the same table? It’s not going to go over well.

Besides that fact, people like organization. If you have 100 people in a wide room picking their own seats, you’re going to get a lot of 1-2 chair spaces that aren’t filled because someone doesn’t feel comfortable sitting by someone they don’t know, someone doesn’t want to sit by themselves, etc. 

It’s much easier that there’s a seating chart, that way you can make sure everyone in a party can sit together and those who you know don’t get along (or you think could get along!) can sit apart/together and make for a more comfortable reception overall.

Post # 6
Member
6505 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

@mrspinesol: I think it really depends on the size of your wedding. I have been to a couple of weddings without a seating chart and it did not work out well. You either had to leave your purse there to save your seat or you had to stay at the table instead of mingling. One wedding we went to my family of four could not sit together because all the tables only had 1,2 or 3 spots left as they only had an exact number of seats. Another had extra seats so that this problem wouldn’t occur but then I saw a couple tables (for 8) that only had three people at them because they didn’t know anyone (which just seems so lonely).

I have yet to see a wedding without assigned seating that turned out okay. Guests either end up getting separated from their families or they end up sitting alone. Walking into a wedding like this reminds me of my high school days where I’m wandering around trying to find my friends and hoping that they still have an extra seat at their table.

Post # 7
Member
2055 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@mrspinesol: I think a seating chart is for the formality of it all, a courtesy to your guests that you’ve thought about their placement ahead of time for them so they don’t have to scurry around, drink and/or plate in hand, trying to fend for themselves in the hopes they’ll get to sit with their immediate family members or friends they haven’t seen in a while. Sometimes it is fun to mix it up and let everyone get to know everyone. It all depends on your crowd and the flavor of the reception that you want to give. So, if you’re going more formal with a catered event at night, I’d opt for a seating chart. If you’re going more casual outdoor afternoon wedding, perhaps everyone can find their own spot.

Post # 8
Member
641 posts
Busy bee

It prevents people from feeling like they’re in theschool  lunch room all over again, trying to find a place they fit in. It also means large families and friend groups will have to split up to find seating for failing to race to the tables.

Post # 9
Member
1629 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Church

@mrspinesol:  I think the other posters did a fine job of answering. Unless you are having a tiny reception I think it helps your guests with potentially sitting awkwardly with people they don’t get along with or if they don’t know anyone. It also allows for your immediate family to sit closer to you and your new husband. 🙂

Post # 11
Member
3223 posts
Sugar bee

It also ensures that mom and granny, and VIP’s get spots at good tables.

Also, keeps your boss from sitting with your adorable, but overly chatty college roomate who has all kinds of stories of your chugging beer and skipping class.

A host should always seat guests with people they think would enjoy each other’s company. 

Post # 12
Member
10384 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Unless you are prepared for chaos and hurt feelings/awkwardness from people who have been split up from partners/family or are forced to sit with people they really don’t want to sit with, make a seating chart.

It doesn’t take that much time, and really helps ensure that your guests are more comfortable. As a host, that’s part of your responsibility.

Post # 13
Member
221 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@mrspinesol:  

First, I think it depends on the size of your wedding. 25-50 guests? I don’t think you really need a seating chart.

 

50-100+ guests? Then, yes you need one for the sake of courtesy. People tend to feel akward sitting next to people they do not know, or asking if a “seat it taken”. 

Post # 14
Member
2203 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

There’s also a slightly also vindictive reason…

If someone brings a guest or someone crashes your wedding without your permission, it’ll be pretty obvious when they can’t find a seat.

Post # 15
Member
5207 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

@mrspinesol:  They’ll find their way to where they want to sit. Seating charts just ensure that every person gets a seat. I don’t think a guest has ever been kicked out of a wedding because they switched seats with someone else.

Post # 16
Member
6026 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

If you’re having a plated meal, the caterer will have a nightmare time trying to figure out what goes where without placecards and a seating chart.

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