(Closed) Casual Wedding – No seating chart? What was your experience?

posted 9 years ago in Reception
Post # 17
1314 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

We had over 100 guests, it was not a casual event, and no assigned tables. It went great. I’ve been to 300+ guest weddings with no seating charts and it’s always perfectly fine, never any of the dramatic stories of guests fighting over seats or stealing chairs I hear about on here. We had 2 extra tables to accomodate any weird group numbers. It must be a regional thing. I’ve only been to one wedding with a seating chart (out of town, Boston), and I thought it was quite possibly the weirdest thing I’d ever seen – I didn’t know assigned tables at a wedding was even a THING until then, and I’d been to so many weddings. Around here, you just reserve a few prime location tables for the family so Grandma doesn’t end up sitting in the back of the room, and go about your merry way.

Post # 18
241 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

We are having a casual wedding and I decided to do a seating chart. Why? Because a lot of my family and friends don’t know his family and friends, and I don’t want anyone to feel out out when they have to try to find a seat amongst strangers. 

Post # 19
184 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

When I was a student I worked for a catering company, if you give people the option of free seating then they’ll sit two or three spaces down the table from each other, refuse to share drink with people they don’t know so continually pester the food staff (instead of bar) for more jugs of drink and it’s a very unsocial occasion. The only way it’d work is if you’d want to provide about 75% more seating, nibbles and drinks

Post # 20
6430 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

We had an informal wedding without a seating chart. We only had about 35 guests, so it wasn’t that difficult. Everyone pretty much ended up sitting exactly where we probably would have put them if we had a seating chart.

Post # 21
3949 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

We had ours indoor for 90ish people, and no seating plan.  It was fine.  We had close family friends & family so everyone knew each other.   I knew everyone would  be pulling their chairs from tables to sit with other people anyway so why stress me out before hand.  We went to an outdoor wedding with no seating chart and there was no problem.

Post # 22
175 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I have only ever been to weddings without seating charts and they have been fine.  No problems at all.

Post # 23
6533 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

I’ve never been to a wedding without a seating chart but I’ve been to other (usually business) events. Typically at least one person ends up at a table they don’t like. But I think it depends on the group of people. It might work in a close family/friends situation. 

Post # 24
5229 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

I went to a wedding last May that was all alternative and casual and didn’t have a seating chart. DISASTER. There were five of us squeezed in at a table for 2. Families were split up. Seriously, it was a mess. The rest of the wedding and reception was great.

Post # 25
1966 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Everytime I go to a wedding without assigned seating, people rave about it. Honestly, I like it better too.

Post # 26
1486 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

We are having a reeeeeeeeallllly small lunch after our ceremony…35 tops. I was JUST wondering today if we needed seating charts because of how small it is and the room is small…seats no more than 40.

I responded because I want to hear what others have to say.


Anyone been to a really small reception and not had a seating chart?


Great thread!

Post # 27
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

It can’t hurt really. I never mind a seating chart. Of course I’ve been to casual parties, not weddings, without a seating chart and it’s usually fine. I do get a little anxious about where I will sit though. 

Post # 28
341 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013 - Callanwolde Fine Arts Center

We went to a wedding a few years ago that didn’t have assigned tables and it was a mess. Our family of five ended up sitting at a table in the back corner by ourselves with three empty seats at the table. All of the people we knew were sitting on the other side of the room together.

All of the weddings I had been to before and after that have had assigned tables and I think it just works so much better. You know the people at your table and you don’t have to hunt for a seat (as long as the table numbers make sense).

Post # 29
583 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I really wanted a seating chart…. but I’ve NEVER been to a wedding with one.  (I know many of y’all are like WHAT?!?!?)  I think it’s just a regional thing.  I’ve been to really nice weddings, just not one with a seating plan. 

I do agree that my wedding is going to be a little chaotic with out one but half of my FI’s family probably think I’m a snob because I’m having RSVP cards.  So I’m trying to limit the rigidity a little. His mom told his aunt to make sure she put how many were coming on their RSVP cards and she said, “OH! it’s one of THOSE weddings”.  hahah… like seriously?  A wedding with an RSVP?  How fancy!  LOL

I just hope it all works out and I’m grateful that’s one less thing for me to worry about right now.

Post # 30
2187 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Our wedding will be held at one of the gardens at the college where I teach. There will be no seating charts. The ceremony is about 10 minutes long, so people can either stand or sit on one of the many benches scattered throughout the area. Afterwards, we are having a simple reception of light refreshments, cake, coffee and punch at the college’s conference center, again, there will be no seating charts. The next day we are having a huge pig roast and of course there will be no seating charts for that. We will have somewhere between 120 and 150 guests.

Post # 31
2152 posts
Buzzing bee


Guests who were part of large groups, took seats from other tables so they could all be at one table. Leaving a few tables almost empty except for a few odd people who didn’t fit at other tables.

Granny ended up sitting with somoene’s university roomate, who revealed “secrets” (that they didn’t know were secrets) which caused a huge rift in the family.

Families were seperated and couples sat at tables where they didn’t know anyone else.

People stood around the outside of the eating area for ages plotting where they could sit.  People also seemed hesitant to ask strangers if they could sit there.  And some people who did ask were turned away cause they were “saving” seats.

I also believe that part of being a gracious host is sitting people with guests who will enjoy each other’s company.  Even for a dinner party I have assigned seating that isn’t usually boy-girl-boy-girl.

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