Post # 1
I have been debating about this all week, since changing to this layout. It is a reception that is looking to be 27-30 people and 75% of that is family. Fiance suggested free for all to reduce my stress over figuring this out. I said no, but added to the poll anyway.
Here is the layout (Table 1 will be bride, groom, and our parents):
Post # 3
my brother’s bar mitzvah was a free for all seating arrangement and it ended up quite disastrously…fine for the one table that had assigned seating, but everyone else had to run to the tables to reserve them before others…it looked a little ridiculous, and even then, groups got split up
Post # 4
Im doing assigned tables and then they can sit wherever they want. I thnk having it open will beceoma a mad rush with people being left out 🙁
Post # 5
It is soooo hard for people to coordinate seating on their own – families and groups of friends end up split up as there is no room left at any table big enough for all of them. As things really fill, couples may have to split as there are only single seats left everywhere.
Think how annoying / much of a pain figuring out seating arrangements is for you – it’s 5 times worse for the guests if its a free for all.
I don’t see a need for assigned seats though, only assigned tables. I think people are smart enough to arrange themselves at their assigned table together.
Post # 6
I think assigned tables is a good idea. People sitting wherever they want to is a good option so that way they dont have to decide and leaves less stress for you. Leaving open seating, you run the risk of too many people trying to to sit at one table to be social. I am going to do assigned tables because that would be the issue I would run into, FI’s family is crazy enough to try and sit all together…which would mean the whole night, people would be divided.
Post # 7
Assigned tables is nice because you know where to be as a guest. I went to a wedding that didn’t have assigned tables and it was crazy. Some tables ended up pullng up more chairs while other tables people were sitting alone.
Post # 8
I’ll have assigned seats, because I think it’s more personal: the guests know you thought about them – you wrote down their names! There is not anybody sitting on that seat – that person has a name 🙂
Post # 9
You have a fairly small group, so I think it’s very reasonable to include the free-for-all option.
A lot of people will tell you its chaotic to have free for all seating, but I think it depends on how many additional seats you have ready for guests. If you know there will be plenty of empty seats, then the free for all works fine because there are no issues with letting groups sit together or separating people from the group they want to sit with.
If you will only have seating for the number of people RSVPing, then I would at least assign tables. When there are no extra seats, then you are basically asking your guests to play 1 round of musical chairs – where there will probably be a few people left standing, trying to figure out where they will have to fill in.
Another thing to consider is your table layout – Round tables are very separate from one another, so if you’re doing tables of 8 and have 12 friends who want to sit together, it’s nearly impossible to make 2 tables feel very connected. If you’re going with rectangular tables that can touch end to end (at least some of them, just make sure theres reasonable aisles), then its easier for groups to find their own seats and still all be sitting together (without awkwardly trying to pull more chairs to one round table.)
Other than that, you might consider what is the norm for your family and friends for a gathering of a similar size. If you have a large family and they are used to having large family functions with no seating assignments, then they will be fine if you let them choose their seats. If it’s expected to have assigned seating or if your guests don’t often get together in large groups, then assigned tables might be helpful.
All of your options can be done successfully, it’s up to you how important seating assignments are to you vs. how much time and stress you are willing to devote to seating assignments.
Post # 10
When I’m a guest, I like to have assigned seats. The only time when I dislike assigned seats, is when the hosts just throw people together and you are seated next to people with clashing personalities (which can be a problem with table assignments too).
Post # 11
I jumped the gun in voting. With 27-30 people I would elimate the stress and not do a seating chart. Since it is a small group they should be able to figure it out without a problem.
Post # 12
We had about 30 people and open seating worked fine for us. Our parents and my husband and I were at one table and everyone else choose their own seats. Plus this allowed us to move around to other tables throughout the night.
Post # 13
Thank you for all of your opinions & for voting. It has given me lots to think about. Oh and I just noticed that the pic I tried to post isn’t showing up (it was before, at least for me). So here is the layout (hope it shows and stays this time):
Post # 14
for a group that small and mostly family, I would say skip the assignments. I’m having almost 50 ppl and really wanted to do assigned tables, but Fiance and my mother both pushed me to not do it….I hope it works out, for both of us!