Post # 1
We’re having a buffet with carving stations and my mother brought up a good point that we probably don’t need assigned seating because we’re not having a sit down meal and the waiters/waitresses won’t need to know where to deliver each plate. Also, we could save money not having to do table numbers and escort cards. I never thought of this and just always assumed everyone had assigned seating at wedding receptions. My only concern is that I don’t want my guests that don’t know alot of people there to feel awkward and I especially don’t want them to feel excluded and end up sitting at a table alone. I thought assigned seating maybe a good way to put people that I know would get along well at the same table. Just wondering everyone elses’ thoughts on this? Has anyone not had assigned seating and were there any issues?
Post # 3
@Beachy0404: I agree with your point that it would be awkward for guests who don’t know anyone else to find somewhere to sit. Also, what happens when you have exactly the correct number of tables & chairs for each person, but there’s a group of 7 people who want to sit together, leaving one empty seat at that table?
We assigned tables, but not individual seats, and it didn’t cause any undue stress. We also had a plated meal, so we needed to identify who got what meal, so we HAD to do a seating chart.
Post # 4
We’re assigning tables, not seats and having a buffet style dinner.
Post # 5
I think tables should be assigned but you definitely don’t have to assign seats. It’s awkward enough if you don’t know anyone else but to have to find a table to sit at is even more awkward. I was at a wedding that was unassigned seating and it was just kind of chaotic, people were expecting place cards so it was weird when we sort of had to fend for ourselves.
Post # 6
I was going to go this route but my guests aren’t used to that type of wedding. They won’t even return the response cards!!! I mean really? How hard is it to write your name on a card and put it in your mailbox? Anyways, so I thought making a seating chart would cause me to lose the little sanity I have left. I wasn’t having a sit down meal anyways. I am going to have open seating (except for the reserved tables for the parents and BP) but I thought table numbers would still be useful so guests can remember which table they were sitting at.
Post # 7
I absolutely recommend assigning tables for every wedding unless you are 1) eloping or 2) only inviting immediate family members and it’s like a regular family gathering. We’ve been to weddings where it was buffet-style with no assigned seating and it’s so awkward. Everyone is jockeying for a table and “saving” tables (like we are back in junior high) and people who don’t know anyone else there are left out floating around with no table. People were adding chairs to existing tables to accomodate extra people so there would be tables with like 16 people crammed around it and the table next to it has no chair lefts because they all got stolen.
Honestly, we didn’t find making table arrangements that hard as you get a general idea of who knows/likes who. Like all the college friends at one table, all the older relatives at this table, etc.
Post # 8
We are doing escort cards but not actual assigned seats, just assigned tables.
Post # 9
Depends on what your guests are expecting/used to. I’d never been to a wedding with seating charts/escort cards until we traveled to a wedding in Boston, and I thought it was the weirdest thing ever. If it’s the norm where you’re from, do it. If not, don’t worry. I’ve been to 300+ guest weddings with open seating and it’s perfectly fine. Have a few extra tables so groups can sit together, and reserve a few tables for family in choice locations so Grandma doesn’t end up in the back. And speaking as someone who has been to out of town weddings and known absolutely no one but my husband and the bride or groom…yeah, assigned seating doesn’t do shit to make up for the awkwardness of not knowing anyone. :p