- 3 months ago
Does “plenty of seating” for a cocktail reception = a seat for every person?
Does “plenty of seating” for a cocktail reception = a seat for every person?
frenchtoastvegan : I’ve been to a wedding where I had to stand through the ceremony. My husband was best man so we were there early and then with photos afterwards, I was stood for about 2.5 hours. Fortunately I wasn’t wearing heels but only because I knew about standing beforehand. I’m also short so I couldn’t see a thing during the ceremony so it was quite boring to be honest.
I’d probably rent more chairs if you can. Chairs not benches ideally. Benches are quite uncomfortable to sit on for any period of time. Sorry I know it’s a last minute stress you don’t need but it’ll make everyone at your wedding a whole lot happier.
frenchtoastvegan : Ugh, just because previous brides didnt throw a fit about it, downt mean it wasnt an issue! Thats too bad, I’m sorry you’re stressing about this! Have you straight up assked them what they can do to provide all your guests with a seat for the ceremony?
jellybellynelly : Yes, there will be couches, chairs, bar stools, actually more than necessary. The issue is how the space is laid out, it’s an old converted mansion, doesn’t allow for one space to have 75 seats, but 75 seats spread through the different areas is no problem.
frenchtoastvegan : If you *literally* can’t provide more chairs, what else can you possibly do? Cancel your wedding? You obviously didn’t plan it this way, so you’re not being rude about it. At least you know in advance so your guests can get a heads-up…or perhaps you can move the ceremony outside?
frenchtoastvegan : Uh oh. I’d be really really upset. Taking into account ceremony and cocktails without a seat in heels I’d be looking to sit on the ground. I have been suffering from extreme back pain in the past year and while I look fit and able bodied it is a struggle to stand for extended periods of time.
Every body in a seat is the only way to go without coming across as rude. what are you gonna do anyway? Label every single seat with somebody’s name? It’s not an LOL moment. You need to make this right.
kiram : the restaurant has chairs, and we are perpared to rent whatever it takes, but if the room can’t hold 75 chairs in one area, they wont fit. We have tossed around the idea of getting married outside, but Novemeber in New Jersey, it’s not warm enough on average. However, if by some chance it’s nice out, we will run with it but we can’t count on it.
This is a potential location but the planner just told me the following about a 100+ person wedding they had a few weeks ago,
“The 100+ person wedding did have the ceremony on the stairs, with their friends and family standing and sitting in the Oyster Bar. They still only had about 40 seats, because the pillars block a lot of the view. Because they were later having lunch in the Oyster Bar, we moved them downstairs to the Rathskeller for their cocktail hour.”
I don’t get how you booked this place in the first place. Did they tell you their capacity and you ignored it? Did you never talk about capacity in the first place? Backstory might help people come up with solutions.
somathemagical : when I am nervous or stressed I laugh, sometimes out loud, it’s not an unusual human response. Again, I am taking it very seriously, which is why I posted and of course I want to make it right, who wouldn’t? I am so very concerned about a few friends that I know struggle with back issues.
Sounds like a really stressful situation and with the wedding so close there isn’t much you can do. I am confused as to whether there is space for you to rent more chairs or not, if there is great – rent more chairs. If not, hopefully, a 20 min ceremony won’t cause anyone too much distress.
Just make sure there is reserved seating for the elderly and any pregnant ladies.
Best of luck
Also, to the other bees – can we keep snark to a minimum please, OP is reaching out for help and doesn’t need any more stress or upset.
Ok, glad to hear you will actually have enough seating for the reception! A lot of times when people say “cocktail reception” they mean 5 chairs and 95 people “mingling” lol.
Ok for your ceremony – if you can do benches, I would. I agree with pp that they aren’t super comfortable, but they are 100x better than standing! Is the photo above where your actual ceremony will be? Those pillars are the major issue, but I’m guessing you can’t move them lol. So what about moving the ceremony to either the right or the left in that picture? Then you could set up many rows of chairs kind of vertically (in this picture). Or doing the ceremony in the center area, and doing almost a curved chair set up around you?
Does 75 guests exclude your bridal party who would be standing with you?
Definitely let your guests know they’ll be standing during the ceremony and that the cocktail-style reception will include standing, too. An email update would be worthwhile.
Elderly and pregnant people have obvious seating needs, but your guests shouldn’t have to announce their bunions and back pains in order to be comfortable. Provide enough information so that they can plan ahead.
i went to a wedding where there wasn’t seating for everyone and while it wasn’t ideal, it also wasn’t the end of the world. try to do what you can to get seating for everyone but don’t stress too much.
I think it would help if you explained a bit more about how this all came about and the specific alternatives and restrictions the venue has discussed with you. It is a bit difficult to give advice without a bit more information.
As a guest, I have stood during ceremonies before and it isn’t the end of the world, but it is certainly not preferable. The last wedding I attended that had only partial seating ended up quite awkward because they had enough seating for about 1/4 of the guests but no one wanted to be that able bodied asshole who takes up a seat they don’t need when there aren’t enough for everyone…
So they ended up with about 10 people actually sitting, very sporadically (with full rows empty, and one or two people sitting here or there). Everyone else was standing and the entire 10-15 minutes leading up to the ceremony start was an unending game of “no, please, you go ahead and sit”. Once the ceremony was starting no one wanted to make a disturbance by going to sit down so we all just remained standing.
Based on that experience, if you absolutely do not have the option in any way to have seating for all of your guests, I would highly recommend that you have assigned seating for specific “VIP” and mobility impaired guests and assign usher duties to a wedding party member or two so they can ensure that those who’ve had seats reserved for them get to their seats and use them.
I do think that having a cocktail style reception adds another layer to this issue. Although there is enough seating for everyone, it is spread throughout the venue and there is no particular point during the reception program during which it is expected that everyone will be seated. This means that many (if not most) of your guests will not mentally claim a seat at any point and will very likely remain standing throughout the bulk of the evening. The general tone of a cocktail style event is standing and mingling, not sitting and chatting like most dinner style events.
Basically, what it comes down to is that by not having enough seating during the one portion of the event that is typically always seated, and hosting what is typically not a seated reception program, the majority of your guests will remain on their feet for several hours (many of them in heels) regardless of physical discomfort because all of the social cues they are receiving point to “it’s rude to sit when no one else is”.
I’m happy to stand at a wedding…if I can wear jeans and sneakers so my feet don’t kill me and I don’t start the reception with blisters already forming.
It is super rude not to have seating for everyone. If I were a guest and my feet really got to me (which they do…I can and do stand for HOURS at work, but I can’t do it in any kind of dress shoes) I would probably just go sit in my car until the ceremony ended.