(Closed) A few reception etiquette questions

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
4887 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

First, you have the wedding you can afford, and if booze isn’t in the budget then that’s that.  🙂  I think it’s totally fine to allow people to go to the bar next door if they really want to drink, but considering it’s an afternoon wedding I don’t think that many will take advantage  (we attended one this summer and I think Fiance and I both only had one drink from their cash bar, and it was no big deal.. it was the afternoon and we had to keep going with our day once the wedding was over)


Since you’re not serving an actual meal, I wouldn’t do the seating chart.  It’ll save you a lot of headache trying to place that many people, and it’ll save time since people will just sit where they want to instead of everyone finding their places.  Just make sure you have more seats than people and this will work out.


Happy planning 🙂

Post # 4
11271 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@nyscpa2be:  i agree with kristen. 

just make sure there are enough non-alcoholic beverages for your guests and if your guests want an alchoholic drink, they can go next door.  you don’t want to your guests to have to ‘buy’ iced tea next door.

the wedding doesn’t sound extremely formal, so why bother with the table cards and seating chart (especially for 180 ppl). 

Post # 5
2261 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I would say the bar next door is just fine. We had no alcohol either. 

Also the table idea works for me! lol We did the same thing and no one was confused. Our wedding was about half your size though. I think it’s totally fine. 

Post # 6
77 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I had to have a cash bar because of budget too. Nobody minded. People who wanted to drink were willing to pay. This also helps prevent people from getting too wasted (if they have to pay they won’t drink as much)  Also I decided to forgo seating charts all together. I was going to do place cards but it was such a headache trying to make my family, the in-laws, and the Fiance happy that I decided to reserve a few tables near the head table for close family (ie parents, grandparents, siblings) and have the rest be sit-where-you-want. It worked out fine. Everyone sat where they felt comfortable and the important family members still had a place of honor. My wedding was about the same size as yours too.Hope this helped! I’m sure it will all work out beautifully for you. Best of luck!

Post # 8
193 posts
Blushing bee

@nyscpa2be:  I agree with PPs about not worrying about a seating chart as you are not offering a sit down meal. It will also allow ppl to mingle more and hopefully encourages use of the dancing and photobooth.

Regarding the non alcoholic drinks, have you considered some fruit punches aswell? Just a suggestion.

Sounds great!

Post # 9
27 posts
  • Wedding: August 2012

Personally, I would still do a seating chart up front, and nix the placecards at the tables themselves.  If you want to save on the cost of printing/framing that though, I would still put up a little sign up front with some sort of cute saying that lets the guests know to seat themselves (Since you never know who you’ll meet, we’ve decided to let you choose your seats, Don’t be nervous, Don’t be shy, Grab a seat, shake hands & smile! < sorry that sounds so corny, but I’m sure you’ll be able to make something up lol

A few downsides to not having a seating arrangement:

– people might not feel comfortable approaching a table with people there already, if they don’t know anyone

– if you’re doing table pictures, there’s no sure way to make sure that everyone ‘is at their seats in the next twenty minutes’ and you get at least most of the table in each picture

If either one of those aren’t a big deal to you, then feel free to let them at it – if you know your crowd is comfortable & outgoing, it shouldn’t be a big deal.  🙂

If you don’t wa

Post # 10
635 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

It’s perfectly fine to host what you can afford. You can’t close down the bar in the room next door, so it isn’t even like you’ve arranged for a cash bar. Just be sure you have plenty of non-alcoholic drinks to keep guests happy.

I would skip the place cards. Many people will likely stand and mingle based on your menu. As long as you have a seat for every rear, you’ll probably be fine. You might want to add in an extra table or two just so that couples don’t have to split up if the other tables all only have 1 seat left or something.

Post # 11
1375 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

The bar next door is fine.  You are providing beverages for your guests, and it is not like you chose to have a cash bar.  You chose not to have alcohol, and the venue just happens to have a bar that serves alcohol.

It sounds like you are providing ample food for your reception, I love the cookie bar!

It is up to you whether or not to do place cards/table assignments.  I personally prefer that, because some guests may not know where to sit.  Regardless of whether you assign places or not, please make sure you have a seat for every guest’s butt.

Post # 13
21 posts
  • Wedding: November 1999

Is this the Schuylerville Legion?  If so that’s where my reception is too!  We are doing a cash bar and just letting the people go to the other room Fiance and me are under 21 so we didn’t want to do Alcohol at all.  I love how big the  room is we are getting married on June 2nd I’m actually making a a tulle canopy for the dance floor in all white, I can send you pics of it at the wedding if you would like to see it as it will be made for that venue!

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