Post # 1
I’m trying to decide on whether or not to have a seating chart. My family is very loud and fun, where the groom’s family is calm and conservative. A lot of them can be pretty judgemental (old school southerners) too. I want everyone to be comfortable, so I was just wondering about who is having a seating chart and why. I haven’t been to many weddings, so I have little to compare to when it comes ot finding a seat.
Post # 3
I personally would only do a seating chart if you have 2 different meal choices and you need to make different name cards based on what they are eating. We are only having one meal choice so no seating chart for us!! I preferred not to have a seating chart because I can’t read the minds of my guests and who they want to sit with. For example, we have table rounds 10 seats per table. I am inviting 16 people from work and I know some get along with others so I would rather they bicker amongst themselves who sits where then them coming after me for putting them with someone they did not want to be with or don’t get along with. Good luck!
Post # 4
We’re giving guests a table number to sit at but not a specific place at the table.
It’s sort of a good way to think about the kinds of issues you addressed in your post, but it isn’t a full out "seating chart."
We’re trying to sit groups together who, even if they haven’t ever met, would be comfortable with one another, and other tables will be filled with groups of people who all know one another (coworkers, maternal Aunts & Uncles etc…) it makes it kind of easy.
Post # 5
I recommend no seating chart. I have been to a lot of weddings. I have only been to one with a seating chart, and we ended up not staying at that table after we ate. Call us crazy, but our guest list will end up being over 700 people (yes a 7 and 2-0’s), but that is normal in my area. Everyone will find a seat…and even if they end up sitting with someone they don’t know or do not get along with, it is ok, they don’t have to stay there the rest of the night! Also, this is one less thing for you to plan!
Post # 6
I on the other hand, I highly recommend a seating chart. You want family members to have some of the closest tables and to be able to sit together. You don’t want grandmom and pop pop to have to take that table right in front of the band because it is the only one left. EVERY wedding I have been to has had a seating chart or escort cards.
Post # 7
I’m only having tables 1-10 reserved for family members, 1 table reserved for co-workers (because they don’t know your family or friends) and the rest of the tables can be chosen by the guests. It’s too difficult to read minds and know if people get along with another person.
Post # 8
Table assignments are great – it is very awkward otherwise for people to figure out who to sit with and someone will get left out, tables will have empty spots, its just a big mass of confusion. You don’t have to read minds for this, you know who your guests know and usually who they get along with.
I actually found this quite easy (we had 150 ppl) and I think it makes the whole thing flow a lot better. And if people really don’t like someone, if you just assign tables and not seats, then they have their choice of who to sit next to. I personally think it is a considerate thing to do – well assuming you don’t have 700 guests like jackee05!!!
I have never been to a wedding without a seating chart either.
Post # 9
We are having a seating chart. Our wedding and reception are in the same hall, and they will be seated in their assigned seats for the wedding and for dinner.
I do not assume they will be staying in that same seat all night…but for the wedding and for dinner is what the seating arrangement is for really…. 🙂
Post # 10
I think it depends. Every wedding I’ve attended has had a seating chart, but I think thats also because people think that you HAVE to have one.
For the suggestion that its to know whos eating what, that just doesnt make sense to me. At every wedding I’ve been to, I’ve also noticed that the tables’ assigned waiter has come out and we’ve placed our meal orders with them. Chances are if someone RSVP’d 6 months earlier as chicken, they may order beef instead on that day. But maybe thats just where I’m from.
I also find that people with bigger weddings who invite co-workers, casual aquaintances, aunt bettys friends daughter, the mailman, and so on, also have seating charts to keep guests in their perspective corners. I think thats too much like segregation to me.
As for me, we’re only inviting close family and friends so we dont feel a seating chart is necessary. People can feel free to roam and mingle throughout the night.
Post # 11
I will be having 16 round tables and the rest are rectangle tables so that all 500 guests can fit into this room. I will only be reserving the 16 round tables for family and OUR friends. The rest of family friends will find a seat anywhere.
I will have table titles (groom’s hs firends or bride’s college firends) and then a list of all the names or people sitting at that table placed in a nice picture frame for only those 16 tables.
The reason why this is ok and not unfair….1) most of the ‘family’ friends will eat and go home. Every Korean wedding I’ve been to, after they get their buffet food, they will sit and eat, and by the time the groom and bride enters the room, they are done and ready to go home…ha!
Post # 12
We did not assign seats or tables. We did reserve three tables for family. I guess it really depends on your guests – I have never felt *awkward* about trying to find a seat without a seating chart, and both Darling Husband and I agree that we have had loads of fun at events where we sat with people we already knew, and also where we sat with people we have never met before. We trusted our guests to be able to figure it out on their own, and they seemed to do just fine. We noticed throughout the evening, and looking at photos afterward, that most people sat with a few people they already knew, and a few people that they didn’t, and it appeared that everybody got along just fine, met a few new people, and had a wonderful time.
And I’m not trying to be snarky, but I do feel the need to say: Come on! Get over that whole junior high school cafeteria thing. Walk into the room like a confident and grown-up person. Figuring out where to sit shouldn’t feel awkward, unless you somehow doubt your ability to land at a table full of people who are happy to sit with you.
That said, you probably want to follow a couple of rules if you’re not assigning seating (or even if you are). First – recognize whether most of your guests come in pairs. Our caterer oddly tried to talk us into seven-person tables, which would have been quite the disaster as most of our guests are pairs. Second – provide a couple of extra tables. That way nobody is forced to sit apart from their date, because the only seats left are singles, and nobody is forced to sit with anyone they really don’t want to – if that situation exists on your guest list. Yes, you end up with a few empty seats, but I think that’s a small price to pay for not having to spend the time to make a seating chart!!
Post # 13
Do you mean a chart to tell people what table to sit at, or a chart saying which seat at which table to sit at? Honestly, it probably really doesn’t matter. But I really don’t like the idea of not assigning at least tables. I just think you know who wants to sit with who. Most people will walk in and expect to be seated somewhere in particular. That alone may cause confusion. Then it will be difficult to serve if you are having more than one choice. And then people will sit wherever, some people might get split up, some people don’t want to sit with strangers, sorry Suzanno – some people just don’t like it, and I don’t think it means they need to grow up. And you also have to make sure there are the right number of seats at each table. As difficult as making seating charts is, I think its a million times easier than letting people choose where they want to sit.
Post # 14
If I turned up at a wedding and there was no seating organised I would be really surprised and not very happy. I think it is the responsibility of the bride and groom to ensure their guests are as comfortable as possible and that means making sure each person gets a seat next to at least one other person they know. If you don’t do a seating chart, you don’t allow for the five colleagues (for example) who only know each other and find four free seats left at one table and one at another.
I can understand just asigning tables, but not putting any effort into it at all would appear thoughtless to me.
Post # 15
We had a small, fairly casual wedding, but we did do assigned seating. There were several groups of ones and twos who didn’t know anyone else at the party and I wanted to be sure they weren’t left wandering trying to find a place to sit or feeling alone You know the middle school cafeteria feeling wandering around with your plate of food looking for a familiar person to sit with? SO not what I wanted our guests to feel!
With four long tables, I also didn’t want to end up with one empty chair here, two there and watch families have to split up for dinner. So we attached name tags to the straws in the glasses at the cocktail hour to direct people to their seats and had a chart at the entrance just to be on the safe side. Everyone seemed to have a fabulous time and my Mother-In-Law who was against the assigned seating complimented me on it afterwards saying she thought it contributed to everyone having someone to talk to during dinner.
Hope that helps. Good luck on the big day!
Post # 16
We are assigning tables for our small wedding. We were going to do open seating, but after discussing it and reading the pros/cons on other threads, we felt this was the best choice for our group. For our family, they will appreciate not having to sort out where to sit. If people aren’t happy, we’ll certain they’ll migrate to a new table or find somewhere else to sit after dinner (we’ll have additional seating inside around the dance floor).
We opted for assigned tables because FI’s 90 year grandmother doesn’t need to be seated next to our very kind-hearted but incredibly foul-mouthed friend. Overall, I think people will be happy and, if not, it’s one night for a couple of hours tops. Most people can make it. 🙂 Assigning tables gives you some control, but allows individuals to pick their seats within the group. Not a bad compromise.
I would recommend thinking about the table groupings (or seat assignments) well in advance – set something up, then put it aside and revisit it later. We’re still tweaking ours, but it’s been a fun task.