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

posted 9 years ago in Reception
Post # 32
Hostess
5622 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

I would at the very least do table.

It becomes more like a lunch cafeteria when you don’t have one.

Sure, sometimes family gets to sit next to each other or where they want to, but then you always have 3+ [or more, depending on the size of your wedding], that are stuck sitting in an area where they don’t know or like anybody, simply because it was too busy to enter, or they straggled in a little later.

Post # 33
Member
6593 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

I hate seating charts.  I always end up at a crappy table and personally blame the bride for seating me at the leftovers table even when I have friends at another table.  Do I complain?  No because I know most brides pull out their hair over seating charts.

If it’s a relatively small and casual wedding then I say don’t waste your time stressing over a seating chart.

P.S. I did it for my first wedding and everyone figured out how to fill in empty seats just fine.

Post # 34
Member
264 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

We are also having a small reception, 30 ppl max. I thought about not having a seating chart but then I keep imagining people standing around trying to figure out where they can sit. So, I’ve decided to make place cards with the names of the guests on them so everyone will know where to sit.

Post # 35
Member
2748 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@avonleaR:  We didn’t have a seating chart for the ceremony but for the reception we assigned people to tables, it took all of ten minutes to seat 85 people. This is how we posted it:

Then we printed table numbers, it wasn’t that bad and it made for some cute photos:

Post # 36
Member
3518 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@avonleaR:  I had a VERY small, pretty casual wedding and ended up settling on a seating chart, honestly glad I did… nobody likes that middle school cafeteria shuffle for a seat with someone you know. If you really want to go the no chart route, you should have a few more tables than you need to make sure nobody ends up the odd one out at a random table. 

As a guest a seating chart is very stress-relieving for me, no matter the size or formality. 

Post # 37
Member
928 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@avonleaR:  I’ve never been to one without a sseating chart. The seating-chart weddings I’ve been to people end up taking their chairs and going to other tables because they were not placed at the right spot, or you end up feeling like you got the leftover table.

I’m doing no seating chart but I’ll try to following the pp’s suggestion to have a few extra seats.

Post # 38
Member
2639 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

I’ve been to two casual outdoor weddings, neither had charts, and no problems at either. But for both we were seated at long, rectangular vs round tables- I think the type of seating you have will make a difference.

Post # 39
Member
1708 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@avonleaR:  I have. Honestly, it was chaos – people saving seats for entire groups, moving chairs etc. 

 

Post # 40
Member
1377 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

This thread has made me realize I need to do a seating chart!

Brides, can you answer a question for me: did you assign individual seats or just tables?

Post # 41
Member
31 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I had never been to a wedding without assigned tables until this year, but in the last few months I have been to 2. So they must be getting more popular.  Honestly I wasn’t a fan. It seemed like everyone scrambled to claim a seat, and at one of them, I couldn’t sit at the same table as my husband (which I minded especially since we were newlyweds of 1 week!). It seems like the only way it will work is if you have plenty of extra tables and assume that not every seat will be filled at each table.

Post # 42
Member
754 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@avonleaR:  We did assigned tables instead of assigned seats. That worked out great. 

Post # 43
Member
235 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I have actually never been to a wedding with a seating chart, and never had any issues sitting with the people I wanted to sit with. The tables have always been large enough that they could accommodate large groups (10 or so), and I think there were a lot of extra seats so that the tables were never completely full, but I’ve never had to sit with strangers before.

Post # 44
Member
1029 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

For cocktails and apps, a few tables and chairs for older folks is fine. If its a sit down meal, there does need to be a ton of extra seating if not assigned.

Post # 45
Member
1426 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@avonleaR:  We did this at our destination wedding. We had 37 guests, many of whom had not met prior to our wedding. We worked hard at making introductions, and it was actually awesome because all of the tables were a mix of our people. Plus it was so easy.

We did not have any guests that needed to be kept separated. (No angry divorced parents etc.) Most of our guests were friendly outgoing people, so I don’t think they had too much trouble with it. I would do it again.

Post # 46
Member
430 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

@Kit_Kath:  +1000. The weddings i have been to without seating charts have been chaos. The brides guests all grabbed tables at the “front” leaving the grooms side (including parents who paid for the wedding) way in the back. Also lots of people got split up and a were not happy to be sitting at tables where they didn’t know anyone While their SO was across the venu. It was just disappointing to travel a few hours and spend a lot of money on gifts to spend the bulk of the evening split up from SO. 

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