Post # 1
Well, here’s the deal…lets start off by saying I am SO not into the whole seating chart/place cards thing. I really don’t want to do it, heres why…
1. My family and most all those that I invited didn’t send back their RSVPs; how will I know who is actually coming and where to place them. I have a good idea as most of my family lives nearby and we are pretty close. It just seems complicated and like a WHOLE lot of time that I don’t have.
2. I feel like our guests (mostly family as we both have large family’s) will just sit where they want anyway and totally disregard the chart/place cards.
So, my question is…is it totally unacceptable to not have a seating chart/place cards for the reception and just let people sit where they want? Our family’s are pretty low key about things like this and most don’t even know the importance of sending back their RSVP’s. No joke, more than one of our guests asked what the “M” was for on the RSVP card…ugh!
Please advise fellow Bees!
Post # 3
You could always chase down the people who haven’t replied – a quick email/text saying “Hey, I haven’t gotten your RSVP card yet – are you coming to the wedding?”
My family is pretty bad about returning RSVP cards – my aunt and two of her kids haven’t returned them yet. But not to worry! I heard from my mom, who heard from my grandma that my aunt is coming, one of her kids might be coming and the other one will not be coming.
As for whether or not to have a seating plan, I can’t help you there because I’m going to have one.
Post # 4
@maiathebee2013: Most bees are going to say that it is unacceptable. However I know the area I am from no wedding have ever been to or even mine had a seating chart. It was not a big deal, no one had a fit because there was no seating chart.
I would say if you don’t want to do one than go for it.
Post # 5
I think it depends on how many guests you have coming, and whether or not everyone already knows everyone else.
We had nearly 200 guests, most of our families had never met, and we have a few divorced family members who appreciated being seated away from their ex.
I’ve been to weddings with and without seating charts, and for me, not having a place card and designated table was very much like being the new kid in a high school lunch cafeteria. Very awkward :/
Post # 6
I think it depends on how you have your seating laid out. If you’re in tables with, say, 8 chairs around each, without a seating chart you’ll inevitably have people bringing chairs over to add to tables. You might also find some stragglers who don’t know other people who feel uncomfortable sitting themselves at a table with a few open spots. I think it may depend on your crowd. I think seating charts are always best, since you’ll do the work for them of who sits where, keeping in mind who wants to sit with whom.
Post # 7
@maiathebee2013: I didn’t do one either. Pffffff, who needs one, lol.
For the ceremony, I had a sign saying ”Today two families become one, so pick a seat not a side”.
So I thought that would set the mood for dinner, lol.
Mind you, my wedding guest count was only 50, so it’s not that hard for them to find seating. Each table sat 8.
Post # 8
@maiathebee2013: Well first of all you should chase down those people who haven’t RSVPed. It’s a PITA but things get lost in the mail and some people may not have gotten the invitation. Plus I imagine you need an accurate count for your caterer?
Also, I’m in the camp that you need a seating chart unless you are having a very small wedding (< 50) and everybody knows everybody else. There are lots of issues that come without having one.
1. Families and couples could get split up. Let’s say you have a family of 5 that’s running late and shows up to the reception last. They could find that there aren’t 5 seats together and then what? Do they sit separately? Do they ask people to move? Same thing for a couple. They might find 2 seats at a table, but people don’t always sit optimally and the two seats could be on opposit sides of the table. Now they have to ask people to move and that can be really awkard if you don’t know said people.
2. To account for odd groupings, you need to have plenty of extra tables and chairs. You can’t get away with just enough for everyone. So that can bring about a second problem: really full and really empty tables. Let’s say you have tables that seat 8, but you have a group of 10 friends. They could easily decide they would rather cram 10 people at a table than split up so they take 2 place settings from a nearby table. Now you have 1 table with just 6 settings. Maybe you’ll get 6 people to sit there, or maybe just one family of 4 or a group of 3. It would really suck to be that small group sitting alone at a table.
3. Some people are more outgoing then others and have no problems asking to sit at a table of strangers. But other people are shy and more introverted and would feel very uncomfortable asking a table of strangers if that seat is taken. It’s like the middle school lunchroom all over again. No one wants to re-live that.
4. As a good hostess you should be introducing people and play social matchmaker (ie introducing people that share common interests). Now, understandablly, you’ll be super busy during your wedding and won’t have time to do this. That’s where table assignments help. You can make sure groups of friends and family are able to sit together and those people who don’t know anyone else are seated with others you think they’d get along with. I went to a wedding once where I only knew the bride and groom and I was SO thankful that she had seating arrangments and sat us with other couples that were roughly our age and worked at the same company. We instantly had someting to talk about and were not left in awkward silence the whole time. It would have been not much fun if we had to sit with some random family that was busy dealing with little children and hardly spoke any English.
5. Table assignments cuts down on general confusion. You don’t have people rushing to save places or people losing seats while they go get a drink or go to the bathroom.
Assinging tables really doesn’t take that long. It took us about 3 hours tops to organize 230 people and call our parents to confirm everything looked all right. I’d highly suggest doing one.
Post # 9
Thanks for all the input ladies! There’s a lot that I didn’t think about. I guess I have some people to call to get those RSVPs!
We are having a buffet with both chicken and beef so at least I won’t have to deal with meal options. The count is going to matter though as our venue holds 150 and the buffet is priced per person or per child (we have a lot of kids on both sides).
Bah! Only one month out! How did this happen so quick lol
Post # 10
@maiathebee2013: Check out the options on theknot.com I typed in my guest list once and used the seating chart generator on the website and it was REALLY easy. Just drag & drop and move people around. You can also move the tables around whichever way you please. I bought blank place card packs at the craft store and printed them myself and they came out great! It was a lot less of a hassle thanks to using that website
Post # 11
We had 108 and did not have a seating chart. It was fine. Nobody got split up and nobody complained.
Post # 12
I have 55 coming and decided not to do one. I know it’s technically unacceptable etc etc but our wedding will be pretty low key and intimate, its mostly family and all the friends know each other. I guess it depends on your guest list and wedding style if you want to put in the effort
Post # 13
@maiathebee2013: wait… what was the “M” for?
there’s an “M”?
I had no M!!! WHAT IS THIS M?!?! lol
ETA: I just realized what the “M” was…. LOL. Bridal brain moment -.-
Post # 14
@inky_1: Haha! Ok, at least I’m not the only one that has moments like that!