Post # 1
OK so due to the small size of our service (60 ish) – we are having a big reception! The nature of our friends and family means it’s easier for us to just say ” 5pm onwards at the venue – spread the word! ” this means no official numbers apart from around 100 people who’ve said a definite yes! we don’t know how many people know – or may want to come – should we do a vague seating plan? or just do the top table and let every one else sort them selves out with just a designated children’s table – and just let it all flow. Because of the unknown numbers we are having a buffet but soup to start – and friends and family are bringing extra stuff for it!!!
Post # 3
The size does not matter. I have seen events with anywhere from 10-50 people that needed a seating arrangement. Since you have no idea how many people will be attending or who specifically, you will have to have a ton of extra seating which will cost money. There is also no way to predict how much food you will need either which is an important thing to know. The fact that it is a buffet does not matter because you still need a seating arrangement. Without a seating arrangement, you will have chaos. Couples and families always get split up. Since you are having an open invitation where anyone can show up, a seating arrangement is going to be impossible so you need to decide which you would rather have: a ton of people inviting others by word of mouth or having a seating arrangement.
Post # 4
Maybe it is because of where I am from but I have never been to a wedding that has a seating chart so I don’t think it will be a big deal. Plus, you have no idea how many people are coming so you will have to order more chairs and tables than you would expect to so I don’t imagine people would have to split up from their partners.
Post # 5
It sounds like you’ll have a pretty laid back reception!
Maybe you could ‘reserve’ some tables for family or specific guests (especially older folks come to mind) and then let the rest be free for all?
Post # 6
I like the idea of some reserved tables!! and yes I am pretty laid back – the ceremony and photos are all organized – the reception is for FUN!!
Post # 7
I don’t know how you’d do a seating plan without knowing who is actually coming, or when. I might reserve a couple of tables for family and bridal party, but apart from that I wouldn’t worry about it!
Post # 8
We aren’t doing a formal seating plan. It will just be a few reserved tables and then everyone else can sort it out. Since we are having a buffet we really don’t need it from a food service stand point. Mostly though, I am just lazy and don’t feel like trying to figure out who should sit next to who. I have enough to do and I really don’t care where people sit.
Post # 9
I would for sure have reserved tables for the Wedding Party and close family. You don’t want any of them getting stuck at a less-than-ideal table. 🙂
Post # 10
I’ve got to give you credit for being so cool about this. You said that there’s 100 or so people that have given you a definite YES and after that people may or may not show. I would be going absolutely crazy trying to figure out the logistics of what and how much is needed without knowing a total number of guests. As long as you and your fiance are happy with this set up, don’t worry about assigned seating (I don’t really know how you could accommodate this anyway without knowing even how many guests will be there). I do like some of the previous posts’ ideas of making at least a few reserved tables for the wedding party and immediate families.
Post # 11
@puzzle, well to help with food quantities – we’ve asked people to bring food for the buffet. My mum and me are doing some stuff , and we have about 40ish dishes from the definite guests, and hopefully the mystery guests will bring extra stuff!! I think that we’ll do a seating plan for the family!!