(Closed) Did anyone let their wedding guest pick their own seats??

posted 10 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
2006 posts
Buzzing bee

In general, people on this board tend to be in favor of assigned seating (I’m one of them!). 

Post # 4
1518 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Well it depends on a few things… how many people do you have and how big is your space? It can be really chaotic to not have seating arrangements because you have people squeezing into tables and moving around a lot. 

I have been to weddings where there is no seating charts but it usually a smaller wedding, and/or a buffet. Either of these factors would make it no problem! 

We used assigned tables (not seats) at our wedding and the key to making it work is to take your time and put people in the same groups together or at the table next to each other. I sat down with my now SIL and went through their side of the family to make sure everyone was somewhere they would be happy. The only person who made a comment to us about the seating was my aunt because we didn’t sit her son (my cousin) at her table but he wasn’t sitting with them because he was sitting with his boyfriend and friends!

Post # 6
9050 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

I think it could work if you have a smaller wedding. 

If you do go ahead with it, keep in mind that you’ll need more seating than you would otherwise, to make up for the seats that will go empty based on people arriving and wanting to take a table to save, and then it not working out kind of thing.  Say a family of four and a couple know eachother sit down and leave 2 seats empty.  Those might not ever get taken.

Post # 7
384 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I was actually at a wedding recently where they chose to not to assigned seating. We loved it! I hate sitting next to someone you dont know or looking for your table and figuring out the numbers.. you will have empty seats though cause she did have that and had about 150 guests. I dont think anyone noticed or cared. If you dont want assigned seating i say go for it and skip it! 

Post # 9
3575 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

We’re almost at 130 confirmed guests for our wedding and we are NOT having assigned seating.   But we’re doing this because we want it to be more of a lounge-type environment.  We will have a few large tables (8-10 peeps) but also several 6 tops, 4 tops and tall cocktail tables.  We’re also having a soft seating area with plush benches and a coffee table.  BUT…ours is not a sit-down dinner.

We’re doing this because we were guests at a similar setup but the guest count was smaller.

I think if we were going to do a sit-down, I would definitely do seating chart.  It’s a pain (I’ve done them for events before) but you might be thankful that you did.


Post # 10
2536 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I let my guests pick their own seats and I prefer it that way. No one said anything about it and everyone sat with people they liked. I say go for it if you want to go for it. Ignore naysayers.

Post # 11
581 posts
Busy bee

All of the weddings I’ve attended did not have assigned seating.  I love this.  At some I sat with people I’ve known for years, at others I sat with people I’d never met.  All instances were enjoyable.  We were there to celebrate a marriage and were connected on some level simply by knowing the couple.

Post # 12
1254 posts
Bumble bee

I went to a sit-down dinner reception where there was no assigned seating. People were definitely confused at first, but once they realized they get to choose seats, the line began to move faster.

Most guests decided to sit at the outer tables, so there were many inner tables that were partially filled. If this will bug you then non-assigned seating might be a problem for you.

Post # 13
445 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’m more for table assignments than seating assignments. With our venue, I’m betting 90% of the guests would want to sit near the bar…in the back…I don’t want to be lonely up in the front so I’m assigning them to tables! They can move to the bar after dinner! Lol!

Post # 14
539 posts
Busy bee

I have only been to a 2 weddings with assigned seating, and have attended many weddings and I didn’t personally like it, as we were made to sit by people we normally wouldn’t. Our wedding will have 200 guests and we are not doing assigned seating at all. We have 2 host couples that will let guests know to sit where ever, as long as not reserved tables.

Post # 15
1086 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I had 150 people at my wedding and there was no assigned seating. It worked fine and people sat with who they wanted to sit with. I didn’t get any complaints. Less work for me, and people were happier. It just all depends on your venue, your people, and what you want.

Post # 16
6571 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2010

My brother and sil did this. They had a little over 200 people. They had a few reserved tables for family, and some people took those seats so that was a little disaster trying to find a place for my grandma to sit. Other than that it was fine, I ended up pulling up a chair with my friends b/c there wasn’t enough for us, but it wasn’t a big deal.

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