(Closed) Are there any drawbacks to open seating?

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
9053 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

I think the risk comes with guests being snubbed like Forest Gump on a school bus.

Also, you’ll likely need to have more extra chairs for wiggle room, like if a couple sits down, and then next group leaves one seat between kind of thing.  That can translate to more rentals, more centrepieces and more favours if you’re anal about having one at each place setting.

Post # 4
380 posts
Helper bee

@Tibbs:  I was totally thinking about this too… I loved the idea at first (not to mention not having to deal with the extra planning). But then I read on a few blogs that people had stolen other peoples seats and it endedup being like musical chairs. I think I’ll be going with formal seating… much to my dismay Undecided

Post # 6
3316 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

We had successful open seating.  However, we had several things going for us:

  • Our guests were all part of the same social group, so there were no worries about grandma being seated with someone’s fraternity brothers.
  • We had only singles and couples, so we didn’t have a family of six discovering that all they could find was two seats at each of three tables.
  • We had plenty of extra seats.
  • We had a heavy hors d’oeuvres buffet, not a formal plated dinner, so people could move from table to table during the evening if they wanted.

Post # 8
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

You know your guest make-up.  Do you have a lot of people coming who don’t know other guests, or is everyone closeknit?  If you have a bunch of people who don’t know anyone, they will probably gravitate towards an empty table rather than plop down next to people they don’t know.  Drawbacks to this might be that family or group of friends who want to sit together might not be able to because, by the time they get to the tables, there are only a few seats left at each table and they have to split up.  But if dinner won’t be a long, drawn out thing, maybe this won’t matter, because if people aren’t happy with their table they can get up pretty quickly.

Post # 9
9181 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

@Tibbs:  My sister had open seating at her wedding last summer.  There were about 75 guests and I think 10 or 11 8-person tables set up.  Some tables were full, some were only half full, a few tables had a few extra chairs snagged from elsewhere.  If most of your guests know at least a few other people at the wedding and they’re not too uptight, I think it can work well.  (We’re probably going to do this too.)  I think it also works better if you have a buffet so the tables aren’t pre-set.

The other option is to reserve a few tables – either on a seating chart or on the table itself – for “Smith family”, “Johnson family”, “Boston College friends”, etc, so those people are sure to all be seated together.

Post # 10
5219 posts
Bee Keeper

We had open seating for 115 person wedding at it worked fine. We had extra chairs/ a couple extra tables and people mixed fine. 

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