(Closed) Seating at reception (assigned vs open); What did you do/are you doing?

posted 8 years ago in Reception
  • poll: What type of seating did you/will you have?

    Open seating--sit wherever you want!

    Assigned Tables--find your table number and claim a seat

    Assigned Seating--guests will have a table number and a selected seat

    Cocktail Style--standing room only, there were no seats

  • Post # 32
    1943 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I’ve only heard horror stories about weddings with totally free seating. We are also doing assigned tables, but not bothering to assign specific seats

    Post # 33
    50 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    We are doing assigned tables and assigned seating, but thats only because the idea of only having assigned tables didn’t even occur to me until after I’d made everybodies placecards, and I didn’t want to not use them. It wont bother me if people switch around their cards/places at their table. 🙂

    Post # 34
    18 posts
    • Wedding: August 2013

    @DrDiane80:  Same here. I’ve never been to a wedding where they did not have assigned tables/seating. However, for my wedding, I’m having a buffet, it’s mostly family and friends who know each other, and we’re doing a couple rows of banquet tables pushed together to create one long King Arthur style table arrangement. So for less than 75 guests, it didn’t seem worth it. If we had decided on individual tables in the hall, I was going to do themed tables and table assignments. So glad we opted for open seating! I don’t foresee any problems and my parents and aunts will be helping to make sure everything goes smoothly.

    Post # 35
    116 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I’ve never been to a wedding with open seating.  They have always had either assigned tables or assigned seats.  Generally people seem to respect assigned tables since it groups people together well (work friends, groom’s family, bride’s family, school friends etc) so that they already know each other and are comfortable talking.   

    We are planning on doing assigned seats even for our 10 person family dinner, just to minimize the fussing around when it comes time to choose a seat. 

    Post # 36
    295 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: March 2013

    I guess ours was technically cocktail style, but there were enough seats for everyone so I voted ‘open seating’. the venue is normally a cafe/tapas bar, so there were just lots of little cafe tables scattered around, with chairs everywhere. the food was served cocktail style so there was no need for people to have a set space at the table to eat- some tables had two or three people, some had about six crowded round. without assigned tables people felt more free to get up and move during the night, which most people did. I liked it because people could just do what they wanted – i can think of two couples who are kind of introverted and they just sat by themselves most of the night, as though they were on a date. I know some people would think that’s not a good thing but I know they would have preferred that than being put at a table with others and forced to make conversation all night. both couples stayed really late and said they had a fantastic time. 

    some people want to talk to everyone and meet new people, some just want to have some food and watch everyone else. nothing wrong with that.

    in the end, it’s just about knowing your guests and what they would like.

    Post # 37
    277 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    my seating chart was as following.

    I had a small wedding so I only had 4 tables. 

    My wedding was a slight photo theme so, when the guest walked in there would be the polariod camera guest book, and a tree with family photos from the 2 sides of the familes. In between those there was 4 different lace post cards (was also destination weddings) each with the bridesmaids names.



                          Keith Wilso

                          Katie Farell

                  Grandma and Granpa Doe


    When they found their name under a bridesmaid, they would then look for that bridesmaids picture at one of the tables and seat anywhere at that table. The guest loved it and said it was so cute and that they have never seen it done before! YAY!!! My little sister also made the frames, so it had that personal touch to it.

    Post # 38
    1241 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    We’re assigning tables. My family is weird and doesn’t like to sit with people they don’t know, and Fiance has a bunch of relatives on his side who can’t be sat next to each other due to fueding and such. It’s ridiculous, but whatever.

    I’ve been to three weddings, two with assigned tables and one that had assigned tables for just family and open seating for everyone else. The open seating one was so awkward. It was FI’s brother’s wedding and Fiance was a groomsman, so he was seated at the head table. The only people I knew were the bride, groom, Fiance, and FI’s parents. And of course I couldn’t sit with his parents because I wasn’t designated family (even though Fiance and I were engaged at the time). So I had to fend for myself among FI’s relatives, none of whom I’d ever met before. I definitely don’t want to give any of my guests that awkward lunchroom feeling!

    Post # 39
    7550 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: April 2019

    We are doing assigned seating. As we are doing a served sit down meal and have quite a few guests with dietary requirements, it is easier for both us and the waiters to do assigned seating.

    Post # 40
    1178 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    Never been to a wedding that did NOT have at least assigned tables and have heard it can be chaos and very uncomfortable for guests without it.

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