Post # 1
We are having an open seating reception. We want people to sit freely and roam as the night goes on and therefore we haven’t done planned seating. However, I have seen some brides assign guests by tables. They aren’t assigned a seat, but a table and then they can sit wherever at the table they want. This would avoid confusion, however, is this really necessary? How have you gone about organizing your open seated reception?
Post # 3
i would at least assign tables so that people aren’t scrambling over each other to reserve a table with people they know. i think totally unseated receptions are just a little too chaotic. people automatically roam as the night goes on!
Post # 4
I feel that if I’m going to assign tables I might as well just do all out planned seating.
Post # 5
I would suggest that you at least assign tables. In the beginning, I was like you. Why do adults need to be told where to sit. Then I found out all the issues that unassigned seating causes. It makes many guests uncomfortable, you can easily run out of seats like this (leaving 1 or 2 empty seats at some tables and no seats left at others) and the list could go on. People will naturally roam, mix and mingle as the night goes and people trickle out. Assigned seats on the other hand is not a must.
Post # 6
it’s less work for you to assign tables but not seats, and it saves people the hassle of scrambling to find a table or risk ending up at a table where they don’t know anyone.
Post # 6
I think most people just assign tables instead of specific seats. At least every wedding I attended was like that.
Post # 7
I”m a fan of assigned tables because there is nothing worse than heading into a reception room and wondering where to sit. You really take the pressure off your guests if you just assign them a table.
Post # 8
At first I was anti-planned seating of any kind, but then I realized that it would really make it easier on my guests to at least know what table to go to so that they don’t wander around like it’s the high school cafeteria. I don’t care where they sit once they’re there, but I’ll at least assign a table just to make it easy on everyone.
Post # 9
I’ve seen some lively debates on this topic, but I think the right answer depends on your particular wedding style, your guests, and what is customary in your family/social circle/region.
I am assigning tables, but not seats. I prefer this approach for a few reasons:
1 – It is what I am accustomed to. I have never been to a wedding with completely open seating. I have been to some very formal weddings with assigned seats, but most weddings I have attended used escort cards (assigned tables) without assigned seats.
2 – Personally, I would not like having to wander around looking for an open seat and possibly ending up with complete strangers or at a half-empty table. I’m a little shy, and it makes me feel like the new kid in school, wandering around with my food tray, looking for a friendly face that won’t tell me all the seats are saved for the cooler kids. (Am I alone in this? LOL) I don’t want one single guest at my wedding to feel this way. This is much less of an issue at a very informal wedding or a small, intimate wedding where everyone knows each other. But consider this if you will have guests who don’t really know anyone, or if your wedding is large and/or formal.
3 – Some people may act childishly in an open-seating environment – i.e., plotting to save seats for each other, and turning away people who are wandering (see #2). (Then again, some people may act childishly with assigned seating, too, switching seats to sit where they want. Yeesh.)
4 – If you have families with kids attending, they may have trouble finding a table to accommodate them all together unless you provide a few more tables than you need.
Again, if your wedding is informal and your guests all know each other pretty well, I think open seating can work just fine. (Consider that it may cost you more in rentals, though.) Just depends…
Post # 10
I’m a fan of assigned tables but NOT assigned seating. I started to want to do assigned seating – but, like many have stated, people can figure out where to sit and it will be FINE.
I created my table assignments based on who I thought would enjoy each other’s company and if it was a group of people I’d want to sit with… it took some juggling, but all worked out in the end.
I was also very happy I didn’t go with the assigned seating route – it all worked out!
Post # 11
We just had our wedding – – We assigned a table number. Once they found their table they could sit where they wanted. It worked out great EXCEPT for the fact I forgot to do an entire table of guests, LMAO – – My DOC discretely assisted and found those people and showed them where their table was…..
Post # 12
Assigned table seating for sure. People can chose their actual seats but the worst thing is when people walk in and scramble to find a table to sit at. Makes it stressful for the guests. It’s a pain in the neck for you but the additional time you take to assign people to tables, the more fun they’ll have. I PROMISE!
Post # 13
Here’s another tip that can help make it easier to assign tables: Don’t try too hard to make the tables perfectly “even.”
I am seating people in groups of anywhere from 7 to 12 by using a mix of round and long tables. This makes it much easier to group guests logically without creating awkward tables of “leftover” guests. Even if you can’t mix table shapes, most round tables can accommodate anywhere from 7 to 9 or even 10 people (or 9-12 at a larger round table).
Post # 14
Wow! I had no clue so many people felt this way. I guess I need to get on this! Thank you all for your help.
Post # 15
I am a fan of assigned tables. i have been to one wedding where there was not assigned tables, and while I thought that was so awesome at first i ended up not liking it at all. During the cocktail hour, while everyone else was claiming tables, my fiance and I were talking to other people and enjoying ourselves, not realizing that we were supposed to be staking our table out. When it came time for everyone to sit down we couldn’t find a table that had 2 seats next to each other, and then we had to awkwardly ask people we didn’t know if they would mind moving down so we could sit by each other. It wasn’t the worst thing but I would have preferred just to be told where to go.