Post # 1
Assigning seating is a pain! The politics of making decisions on who should sit where is overwhleming and my wedding is November 15. Thinking of just assigning tables for the bridal party instead of assigning one for each guest. What are your thoughts? I would leave the other tables open for guests to choose their own. If you have done this how did it work out during your wedding? I have about 155 guests. It’s elegant but not stuffy formal 🙂
Post # 2
I’m interested, too! Seating assignments aren’t common at weddings for my family, so it didn’t even occur to me to do one until I read on here about how NOT doing a seating chart may be awkward/confusing for guests who don’t know many people or for guests who arrive last and have to split up a group because there’s just 1-2 seats left at each table, etc. I’m torn and still don’t know what I’m going to do!
Post # 3
Arodef: If you’re having a plated dinner, you may have to stick to assigned seating so servers know which meal to bring each guest. Open seating can work, but I’ve heard from friends who have attended weddings as guests with this style of seating often complain that it can be confusing.
We had food stations so we just did assigned tables instead of assigned seating, and it worked out really well!
Post # 4
As a guest, I prefer to be given a table to sit at. It prevents me from inadvertently sitting in a place that should go to aunt myrtle and from being shoved to sitting with the kids unless that’s where I’m supposed to sit.
You don’t have to assign seats, but having the right number of people who you think will get along at tables that give honored guests honor and situate your more libatious friends closer to or farther from the bar isn’t too difficult.
When it all shakes out, maybe a couple people will choose different seats, but the majority will enjoy not having to hustle to get a spot appropriate for them.
Post # 5
I attended 5 weddings over the summer (well, actually 4, since one of them was mine!). As a guest, having a seating chart seems better. We had a lot of friends at one wedding but we all found tables at different times, and a couple of people had to sit by themselves with people they didn’t know, while the rest of the group sat together and had a great time. I felt bad for that couple. At the other non-charted wedding, we only went with one other couple and found seats together, so that was fine, but the bride and groom dismissed tables for a buffet dinner, and since we sat to one side of the room, we ate LAST. Waited an hour and a half for food (no apps). Lol–I just wished I’d picked a better seat.
As a bride, I TOTALLY GET YOU on the pain of developing a seating chart. It was actually a huge mental hang up for me. But, once I sat down and did it, it only took me a couple of hours, and I had a similar wedding size as you. I made it even harder on myself and used favors as placecards so I had to assign SEATS vs. just tables! What was I thinking? Lol.
If it helps, here’s a screenshot of how I did my seating chart in a spreadsheet, just copying and pasting names in cells, moving people around until I got it right. My caterer and coordinator loved it (this way you can even color code children, vegans, etc.) We had long tables, but if you have round you could just separate the tables and still use a merged cell to represent a table.
Post # 6
Thanks for the advice so far. To clarify, its buffet, so when I say seating chart, I only mean assigning people to a table. I feel like most of the problems that were mentioned would happen to people anyways if I assigned them to a table…it would just be a result of my actions and not theirs. LOL. Even the splittng of groups. I have round tables that seat 10 people. So for family, groups of friends I know hang together, I will inevitabley have to split people and seat them with people that are not too familiar with. SO, do I make things awkward for some people because of the tables I had to put them at, or do I just let them make their own decision, no fault of my own if they get a “bad” table. Ugh, not sure…