alternatives to seated dinner

posted 1 year ago in Reception
Post # 2
77 posts
Worker bee

Stations are great (that’s what we did)!  But I would make sure you have some tables are seats available.  Older folks like to sit and claim territory and people don’t always like to hold their plates when they eat or at the very least need somewhere to set down their drinks while they are eating. .. Think bistro tables

Post # 3
863 posts
Busy bee

kaylabugx3 :  I love the stations. I’ve been to a few weddings that have had them and I liked being able to choose what I wanted without the super long lines. One wedding had different cuisines (a pasta bar, a sushi station, a flatbread/pizza station, one with like grilled meat or something) and that was super fun. 


In terms of seating, I agree with the previous Bee who suggested having some. You could do cocktail tables for people to stand at and have scattered chairs. I would definitely have some sort of option to sit. Juggling plates & drinks & wearing heels can be a lot for all night. 

For 40 guests, it wouldn’t be too expensive to get tables. You could buy/borrow long plastic folding tables for like $40 each and once covered in tablecloths & decoration, you’d never know that it was a plastic table underneath.

Search “outdoor wedding mismatched chairs” for some cool ideas with outside furniture or even various indoor furniture brought outside. Maybe you could borrow from family members? Or if you know anyone crafty, you can make some wooden benches.

Post # 4
512 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

We’ve recently been to several weddings with alternative seating- food stations, heavy apps, and even food trucks.  I think as long as you have plenty of places for people to sit/stand and eat, you’ll be fine!  So fun!

Post # 5
207 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

I think your idea sounds great! We are doing something very similar–drink stations, appetizer stations, and then a build your own taco bar. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s perfect for our low key backyard wedding. 

We are having enough chairs and table space for each guest, along with little lounge areas, but no assigned seating. The only thing I’m thinking of now is hiring a few people to make sure the tables stay clean and stocked, since we won’t have any hired caterers. Just something to consider. 

Post # 6
733 posts
Busy bee

I agree that I love stations. I don’t love eating standing up, or trying to hold my plate and drink while eating. So I definitely think it’s good to have enough seating/tables for everyone.

Post # 7
6592 posts
Bee Keeper

You don’t have to do a seated dinner, but you do need seats for everyone. I think stations sounds really yummy! 

Post # 8
253 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

Stations are fine, making people stand and eat is not.  Not even for just elderly guests – I guarentee you that some of your guests stand all day at work, they don’t want to stand all night, too.  

What about picnic tables with benches? They can be dressed up nicely and don’t take up as much space. You can even put them together as one or two long tables and have the rest of the space open. 

Post # 9
331 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

jellybellynelly :  I agree with this.  You do not have to a seated dinner but you do need a seat for everyone.  Food trucks are great!!  

Post # 10
2662 posts
Sugar bee

You will have the seats for the ceremony, right?  Can’t you just move all of those and have some tables ready?  

Post # 11
201 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

I agree with the PPs who say to have seats for everyone.  I really haven’t enjoyed the weddings I went to without enough seats and often left early.

Post # 12
146 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

We are doing food stations (carved meat station with grilled veggies, sushi station, sliders and build your own poutine, pasta stations and a salad/cold meats station) but we are having assigned seating to make things more smooth for out of town people who may not know anyone and be the awkward person trying to find a seat among groups of people who already know each other.

Post # 13
6658 posts
Bee Keeper

Love stations, love food trucks, but you still have to have a seat for everyone. When you don’t have assigned seating it’s best to have extra seating. 

Post # 15
1362 posts
Bumble bee

I prefer a buffet rather than stations. I’d rather wait in one line and get all my food at once rather than having to wait at or walk around to multiple stations. 

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