(Closed) Anyone else planning on not having seating/table assignments?

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
8838 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I personally really don’t like it when there’s not assigned tables. In my experience it always ends up with some empty tables, some with too many people, some groups getting split up if they come in late, etc.

Post # 3
52 posts
Worker bee

From my own experience I can tell you that I had a party with 80 adults and 20 kids 3 years ago and I forgot the seating cards home —- result —-total disaster. Everyone was fighting and complaning that they wanted to seat with  etc… some people seated themselves like 10-12 at a table of 6-8 , while other tables were almost empty . 


Just an FYI— better do those seats assignments, less stress for you and your guests 

Post # 4
9177 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

If you don’t have assigned tables, you should have WAY more seats than necessary – like an extra 33%.  Otherwise, it really sucks to feel like you’re racing everyone else to one of the good spots or else you’ll get split up from your friends or partner.

My sister’s wedding didn’t have assigned tables and it was fine, but they had probably 5-6 extra tables for a wedding of 75.  Our wedding had 165 and I didn’t want to pay for a bunch of extra tables, chairs, table settings, centerpieces, etc – so we did assigned tables.  Much easier for everyone that way.

Post # 5
2123 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I think at the very minumum you should do table assignments. People can choose where they sit at a particular table. I feel like if I didn’t have a set place to go as a guest, I would be annoyed and lost.

Post # 6
81 posts
Worker bee

I HATE going to weddings without assigned tables.  One time, my boyfriend and I ended up sitting with the pastor and his family (who made some not so nice comments about our relationship) because there were no seats left near our friends.  

I agree with PP, that if you aren’t going to have assigned tables, you need a lot of extra tables so that people don’t feel uncomfortable.  I recently attended a wedding with that kind of set up, which was fine finding a seat; however, I think it makes the room look kind of sad…like a lot of people didn’t show up.

Post # 7
2167 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

regit45:  We aren’t doing it for our wedding next week. Fiance is really against it as he finds it too formal and stuffy and I’m happy not to have to do it too. What we are doing is putting reserved signs on the four tables closest to ours so that our close family can have those. Otherwise I fear that while the family is behind at the church for pics FI’s loud, obnoxious cousin might snag a seat right beside us while my Mom and Dad are way off in a corner. Can’t have that. We have about 56 guests and 10 tables of 6 each. Everyone else can sit wherever they want for all I care.

Post # 8
186 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Villa Celeste

We’ve kind of grappled with this idea. We’re having a group of 30 on two long tables (15 at each) Most of the guests are family and very close friends, so it seems a silly for us to do a seating chart for those people when basically everyone is acquainted with each other. 

However, I’m not sure how well it would play out at a large reception. I think that the PP’s have brought up some valid points. I’ve never been to a wedding where there hasn’t been assigned seating, but I can imagine that people will be over capacity at certain tables, while some are virtually empty. I really like the idea of the assigned table idea. There’s still a sense of direction and formality, but your guests can choose where they sit at the table. I would like that a lot. 

Post # 9
1282 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017 - Baton Rouge, LA

i have NEVER been to a wedding with assigned seating. I went to a rehearsal dinner last week with assigned tables, and felt I got the shaft for where i was sat. far back corner table last to get served food, when i stepped up as a Maid/Matron of Honor for the bride when her actual Maid/Matron of Honor was consumed with her own life. So to me, depending on where you put people, can be offensive.

At weddings where all the seats are filled at a table i want to sit at, i just drag a chair from another table & squeeze in. No big deal.


Post # 10
4910 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

regit45:   Having assigned seating makes it easier for guests – couples don’t get split up, parents can sit with all their kids, and guests are seated with compatible table mates, that is, if the host has done his or her homework!!  

Post # 11
2716 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

regit45:  I find no seating arrangements only works for small weddings <50 and when you have lots of extra space.  Here are a few issues you can run into if you don’t assign tables. 

1.  It can be just plain awkward and uncomfortable for guests.  It’s like the middle school cafeteria all over again.  It’s so much less stressful for guests if they already know they have a seat/table and don’t have to worry about finding one.  It also creates confusion; people trying to sit with friends, people asking if they can join tables, people saving seats, people wandering around looking for friends or for a space for everyone.  The more people you have, the more confusion.  When I get to a wedding, I want to find my seat and get a drink!  I don’t want to spend several awkward minutes searching for my friends, making sure they haven’t found a seat, and trying to find one if they haven’t.

2. Families and couples who come late could get split up – which is why you’d need a lot of extra tables.  People won’t be able to neatly sort themselves.

3. Along with 2, people might get stuck at a table by themselves.  For example, say you have tables that nominally seat 8.  But then you have a group of 10 friends that want to all sit together, so what do they do?  They steal 2 places from another table.  Other groups may do the same, or because you have extra tables, a couple or small family might get stuck by themselves.  Which is just awkward, embarassing, and not so fun.  

4. Odds are you are going to have a handful of people that don’t know anyone else at the wedding.  Part of being a good hostess is introducing unaquainted guests.  It’s really helpful and nice as a guest (who doesn’t know anyone else) if a bride sits me with other people that I have things in common with.  Odds are your college friend and her date aren’t going to want to sit with Great Unlce Ed and your super liberal coworkers aren’t going to want to share a table with your mom’s conservative church quilting group.


I know seating charts seem like a daunting and impossible task.  But it’s really not that bad.  We had 230 people at our wedding and it only took maybe 2 or 3 hours to finalize a seating chart (including the time it took to call our parents and confirm we weren’t going to start any family fueds).

Post # 12
294 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

We didnt’ do assigned seats or tables. It was fine. And it was one less thing to stress about. We had lots of seating, some indoors, some outdoors….and we didn’t have a “head table”, so its not like some people felt like they got shafted b/c they were far away from the head table. It worked out great for us.

Also though, we had a lot of “get to know each other” things before the wedding, lots of showers and dinners and partys…even the weekend of the wedding we had lots of events, so by the receptin, a lot of people were pretty comfortable with each other.

Post # 13
2268 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Westwood:  +100000


My cousin’s wedding was beautiful, but awkward because she had no assigned seats. Thankfully, she had more than enough tables for everyone, but some tables were packed and others were empty. It was super awkward because other than our very small family, we didn’t know anyone else at the wedding and ended up havig to sit with a group of people that knew each other and made no effort to include us in their conversation despite our best efforts to be involved. It was just sort of awkward.

Post # 14
211 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I’ve been to a wedding of a friend I’d only known for a year or so and she didn’t have assigned seating and it was perfectly fine. No fighting, no drama, no anxiety. I looked around saw one person I knew and sat down lol we’re all adults. I don’t plan to have one at my wedding either because I’m sure everyone invited are mature adults.

Post # 15
4698 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

lovelymuse:  this is more encouraging..

Our wedding will have approximately 50-55 guests. Its a cocktail style wedding but we’re providing seating, I didn’t intend to do assigned seating. I’m hoping adults can act like adults and sit where they please.

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