(Closed) Seating Charts, Yes or No?

posted 9 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
Member
521 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I went to a wedding last year for a close friend.  She did not have a seating chart.  By the time Fiance and I got there (mind you, we were not late) all our acquaintances had sat together (all my close friends at the wedding were in the bridal party or were unable to attend) and we were stuck sitting at a table alone with some friends of the groom’s father.  It was kind of awkward.  Also, people are more likely to get up and mingle if they know their seat won’t be taken when they come back. 

I think the best way to do it is to assign tables, not seats, because that way people can sit next to the people they choose, but there’s a home base of sorts for them to go back to.

Post # 5
Member
20 posts
Newbee

I went to a wedding a couple years ago where tables were assigned and I did not enjoy it.  I ended up sitting with some very nice (but quiet) elderly ladies instead of my friends, who were seated across the room.  Luckily my date was there to keep me company and talk to me during the evening.  I am planning on letting people sit wherever they want because I want everyone to be happy.    My suggestion is if you decide to have assigned tables, be sure to keep friends close together.  Good luck!

Post # 6
Member
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

My fiance and I are doing escort cards — basically we’re assigning tables but not specific seats.  The main reason we wanted semi-assigned seating is that we have several friends who likely won’t know anyone else at the wedding.  I wanted to make sure they’re not looking around the room wondering where it would be "OK" for them to sit — personally, I’m not a big fan of that awkward middle-school-lunchroom feeling of looking for a table!  I also wanted to avoid situations like the one Johnsbride09 described and put people who are likely to have something to talk about at the same tables.

But if most of your guests know each other and you think they’ll naturally cluster into tables, I wouldn’t stress assigning seats.  And really, I think most people will enjoy themselves either way!

Post # 7
Member
62 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I totally feel your pain, my Fiance and I originally decided to forego the seating chart.  However, after much debate between us and my parents we have decided to have a seating chart.  I agree that most people will feel comfortable having a "home base" of their assigned table.  I think assigning a table rather than a specific seat is the easiest option as you don’t have to worry about who will sit next to who. For us, we decided it would be better to have assigned seats for some of our older guests’ sake so they don’t have to worry about not getting a seat.

In regards to happy_bunny’s comment, we were at a wedding this past summer where there were 9 of us close friends and one single person who didn’t know anyone seated at our table.  While we are a very social bunch we enjoyed talking to her and I think she appreciated not feeling left out, but I agree that you don’t want people to be stranded without a seat.  If you chose to do the unassigned seating, just keep in mind that some folks might end up in a situation such as hunny_bunny and her date.  Try reserving a few tables for family or older guests so they are guarenteed a seat or you could also use long tables like Mrs. Espresso which might eliminate some sticky situations.

Post # 8
Member
1091 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Oakland Manor

My sister did not do a seating chart or assigned tables and it was a bit confusing.  The worst part is that friends of the family, and even our relatives were seated in the back.  The photographer didn’t end up with a fair amount of important people because they were seated all the way in the back.  I think my parents even went to sit in the back with them because there wasn’t really room in the front.  Which meant that they didn’t really get see the dancefloor or the head table etc.  I def reccomend at least assigned tables

Post # 9
Member
2889 posts
Sugar bee

I agree on the assigned tables as every wedding I’ve attended did this. Also, when you don’t assign tables, you will need to consider extra place settings as there may be some empty single chairs at tables and it would be tereible if a couple had to sit apart.

Post # 10
Member
70 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I agree.  We are doing assigned tables as well.  We went to a wedding this summer of my Fiance cousin- he was an usher and didn’t have an assigned spot to sit.  His entire family ended up sitting at separate tables and searching for a spot for most of the night.  It’s helpful to let people know where they’re supposed to go!

Post # 11
Member
208 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

We had buffet dinner and no seating chart. As a guest, I don’t like being assigned to a certain spot because I’d rather be free to visit with a variety of people. As a bride, it was wonderful to not have one because (1) it was one less thing to do and (2) NOT having one made it so easy to have changes in the guest list. There were last minute added and losses (as there are with any wedding), but there was nothing to change on our part. It would have been stressful to try to rearrange one or two days before the wedding because someone got sick or someone was able to change their work shift after all.

Post # 12
Member
2434 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

If there are going to be places set at the table (ie silverware, glasses, etc) then definitely have assigned tables.

If it’s buffet and people are picking up their plates and silverware, then I don’t think you need assigned seating.

I’m a fan of assigning tables (I don’t think assigning actual seats is necessary) because otherwise you risk having to sit with people you don’t know because it’s the only seat left.

Also- without assigned seats, you may wind up with people moving chairs and place settings to other tables so they can sit with friends.  That results in some tables being picked over and nearly empty (which makes the people that are sitting there feel like lepers) and other tables crammed with people.

Post # 13
Member
248 posts
Helper bee

I definitely vote for assigned tables. Otherwise, people rush to tables to “claim” a spot. This is awkward for people who know very few others at the wedding and have to go table to table looking for a group that will welcome them rather than saying, “Sorry, these seats are all taken.”

Unless it’s a very causal, buffet picnic style reception, I tend to view it as a little lazy/thoughtless on the part of the bride and groom to not take the time to figure out what tables would make their guests feel most comfortable. These is always plenty of time before and after the meal for people to mingle.

Post # 14
Member
17 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: November 2018

I didn’t have assigned seating/tables at my wedding, and have never been to one that had them.  Many people didn’t send in their rsvp’s so we didn’t really know which people were coming, so it would have been impossible for us to have assigned tables.  Nobody complained at all about not having assigned seating.  Ours was also buffet style dinner.  I think it makes more sense because then people can sit with whoever they are most comfortable with, and at my wedding people got up and mingled around alot of the night talking to people and family they haven’t seen for a long time.  I don’t know if it’s just the region where I live, but if I had assigned seats/tables I don’t think they would have known what they were, and most likely not sat where it said.

Post # 15
Member
1238 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

I like the idea of assigning tables but not seats, that’s how we did it.  Our choice to do this was based on:

  • There would be no issues with family trying to find seats
  • Our wedding party would be able to sit with their spouses that weren’t in the wedding
  • It would make it easier for the venue to serve the food (we had 3 different choices)
  • We were able to tell our photographer which tables had family at them so he could make sure he got lots of pictures of them

Post # 16
Member
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I vote for a seating chart.  I have always enjoyed receptions more when there is assigned seating, and I have been seated with people I know, rather than scrambling around trying to find a spot and sitting with random people while my friends are across the room.  Less stressful!

We did assigned seating at our wedding and I think it worked out well.  We had a list for people to look up their names and find which table they were at.  All the tables were named for places that were special to us, and the guests enjoyed getting up and looking at the other table names and reading about those places.  Great way to get people to mingle!

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