Post # 1
I’m trying to decide how much to “mix” up the reception seating. Obviously people will be seated with their dates, but apart from that…we have so many micro-groups… his family, my family, his childhood friends, my grad school friends, business types, waiter types etc.
In a perfect world anyone could sit next to anyone, but we all know that’s hardly the case…We are doing 5 mega-long banquet style tables (about 24ppl at each).
My first run at seating I put people next to people I thought they’d be most comfortable with based on their backgrounds, hometowns, education, etc…it kind of looked like a class system :-/ Not sure if it would seem that way..
Second run at it I put my guests together, and then his guests together, but that felt so segregated in another way…
Third attempt it’s somewhat more blended, made a “singles” table, grouped people more by current aspirations and social interests… but now I’m not sure if guests would be disappointed not sitting with more people they already know.
I know that I have felt more comfortable at weddings where I sat with people I knew, but ACTUALLY I stayed longer and got more involved at weddings where I sat with people I didn’t know – maybe it just sparked more of a curiousity and “experiencial” mentality, rather than falling into the laziness of talking about the same things with the same people where my comfort made me feel even more like I could just go home now because I’d already “done that” and had someone to conspire on an exit strategy with… In the moment I like to sit with people I know, but when I look back in retrospect I had much more interesting nights when I didn’t. I KNOW I’m deep into over-analysis…
Post # 3
Ohh good question! I’d mix it up just a little bit! I was recently at a wedding where they sat us with everyone we knew (And go to dinners with once a month).. we were so comfortable, we pretty much sat there the entire time… I almost would have liked to mingle a bit more! 🙂
Post # 4
@waitingwonderland: I’ve never been at a wedding where the hosts “mixed up” the social groups for seating. Unless that’s a thing where you live, people are going to expect to be with people from their group that they know. You might be overthinking this if you are including factors like education and current aspirations 🙂
Post # 5
@bridinmt: lol, I’m definitely over-thinking it.. But yes, I suppose it is a “thing” here.. I didn’t know it wasn’t other places. Of the weddings I’ve been to it’s about 50/50 whether I’ll be sitting with anyone I know at all. Now that I think about it, I’ve only ever sat with people that I knew at family weddings… never at my friend’s weddings… I don’t have much family, so most of my guests are my friends (about 90%)
Post # 6
Etiquette Snob here… lol
I have to say out of the 3 you’ve described, I much prefer the last. And it is more in line with traditional elements where couples were seated side by side, man-woman-man-woman etc. And Dinner was seen as both a time for those who knew each other as well as those who didn’t to get to chat… A Hostess in her day, would intentionally make up tables with a nice mix of both Oldtimers and Newcomers, in effect introducing her Friends from one social circle to another social circle (His Side to Your Side – Golf Buddies to Tennis Gals etc)
And in all honestly it is only Dinner… People can sit where and how they choose during the Ceremony and once the Dancing / Partying begins.
A Wedding is meant to bring together 2 families, so I think that it is a good idea to make some intentional introductions during Dinner.
Altho personally, I’d also sit some that each couple know well nearby as well. (Example a Table Top of 8 in my world, would have 2 couples from one world meeting 2 couples from another). With a long table of 24 it would be more of a challenge, but could be worked out in a Zig-Zag fashion…
Where Couple A sits across from Couple B, and next to Couple C who sit across from Couple D.
A and D knew each other before, and B and C knew each other prior as well.
Hope this helps,
Post # 7
I think stick people with who they know – as someone who isn’t great socially with strangers, I’d be furious if I went to a wedding & was intentionally sat away from people I knew & could talk to. I’d be miserable & be out of there as soon as humanly possible.
Maybe if you want people to “mix it up” or mingle etc, maybe do something at cocktail hour (like a casual little game to get people to talk to others they wouldn’t normally talk to) but not something that will potentially make guests uncomfortable for hours.
Post # 8
@This Time Round: I like this idea… makes sense to me.. but we’re getting tanked in the poll lol
Post # 9
@This Time Round: I like her plan!
Because our wedding is terribly unbalanced (my half is more like 75%) and we have a lot of micro groups as well, I’m planning to mix up my tables of 8 so they’re about half group A and half group B. Most of our friends are very social people. Our families will probably sit with as ‘sides’ but I’m not decided yet.
Post # 10
@waitingwonderland: seat each table with half of his guests and half yours, keeping groups that know eachother together that way they can still get to know someone new but have the comfort of people they know. If I was seated with only strangers I would only be at the tablelong enough to eat then I would be off to find my friends.
Post # 11
For the record…
I VOTED – A BIT OF BOTH, cause that is what would be happening…
People would be mixed with both folks they knew and those they didn’t
And granted YES there are going to be some Family situations where you wouldn’t be doing that… such as if you have a table for the Parents (either Both sets at one table with the Officiant & their SO)… OR Parents who are the Hosts at two seperate tables with immediate family members from their respective sides (Guests of Honour… GrandParents, GodParents, Uncle Bill & Aunt Martha who flew in from Australia… in this situation should also be given priority seating)
And of course then there is the Bridal Party. If there is a Head Table for the Bridal Party, then their SOs / Dates should all be seated in the “general seating” at one table together… if you don’t have a Head Table, then the Bridal Party and their SOs / Dates should be seated as a grouping.
Hope this helps,
Post # 12
I’m SUPER outgoing, and I would HATE being seated away from my friends!
Do you remember assigned seating in middle school? And how all your friends were in the class, but you couldn’t talk to any of them, and it sucked?
Post # 13
Is it necessary that you have assigned seating, or could people just sit wherever they want to?
I know I’d feel a lot more comfortable either sitting with people I know, having as you put it a “seat buddy.” But that is just me, and some people are okay with sitting with people they don’t know than others.
Post # 14
I put people with people they knew. It was hard work organizing the tables but I personally as an introverted shy person would prefer to be seated by people I know. Our tables were a bit segregated (my family, his mom’s family, his dad’s family) but I didn’t feel that was a bad thing.
ETA: I originally had that I think mixing it up would work fine too. However, I think if possible you should seat people with others that they know. I believe that almost everyone will be more comfortable with that. I don’t like to the idea of mixing it up because you hope that others will make new friends. I would rather be comfortable and talk to people I know as opposed to the host deciding who they think I will get along with.
Post # 15
I’m super introverted and I totally agree.
Post # 16
maybe I should have clarified… I don’t mean whether people should be sat near ANY people they know, I just meant from a GROUPING standpoint whether like for example if I have 12 college friends, and he has 12 work friends. Do those 12 need to be sat together in a big group, not mixing with other guests…or could it be like 6 college friends with 6 work friends at a table? Would that be “comfortable enough”?
I feel like some people have responded as though a “mixed table” would mean they would somehow be at a table where they literally wouldn’t be near someone else they knew…that’s not numerically possible, esp at the long tables.. except for the couples coming who won’t know anyone anyway..can’t help that