(Closed) What do you think of open seating?

posted 8 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
Member
769 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

I personally don’t love it.  I find it kind of stressful to try to hurry and get a table with friends/date/family.  At one wedding I attended, there were a number of friends that I hadn’t seen in a long time.  We tried to get a table together but ended up getting split up all over the reception.  That being said, I think if you’re having a small reception where pretty much everyone knows each other, it could work out great.  I’m just not a fan of them at, for example, 200 person weddings.

Post # 4
Member
2226 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I think that depending on the number of people, it’s a great time/headache saver for you!!

Post # 5
Member
7152 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I am going with that option. Less that I have to worry about 🙂 Our wedding is both formal and pretty big, but I don’t wanna have to deal with all the extras that come with planning the seating. Everyone can figure it out.

Post # 6
Member
2392 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

We’re planning to do this.  I like the idea for a more casual wedding (and because I am lazy).  A little nervous, but I like it.  My fiance is dead set on it – I’m pretty sure he would flat out refuse  to have a wedding with assigned tables.  I agree that it’s not a good idea with very large weddings, or a lot of guests that don’t know each other.  We’re mostly going to be inviting people in crowds that know each other, though, so I’m not too worried about people not having anywhere to sit.  Also we’re planning a looooong reception, so if people end up eating without some of their friends, they’ll have plenty of time to catch up.

Post # 7
Member
162 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I’m not a fan.  I don’t hate weddings that have it, but I prefer not to deal with it. 

The weddings where they’ve had open seating has become a race amongst many guests to get the “best” seats.  If you don’t know anyone, then you don’t know who would be best to sit with (as the bride & groom you may know who of your friends/family they would best interact with…they’re not going to have a clue).  If you do know people, then you know who you’d want to sit with…but what if the tables don’t seat enough for your whole friend group?  Particularly if it’s only too big by a person or two who then has to go sit by themselves with people they don’t know.

These aren’t huge issues, and mature guests should be able to deal, but it’s definitely nice to have someone who knows the people and the reception space put some thought into where to put everyone.  It takes a potentially confusing, awkward situtation out of the mix.

Note…planned out seating is only really helpful if you actually put some thought into it!  I’ve also been to weddings where the seating was assigned but totally not thought about.  Like when I was in my early 20s at a wedding by myself, was very close to the groom’s entire huge extended family and knew many of his friends, and was seated at a table with 3 other couples who I’d never met who were in their 60s.  Fun. :-p

Post # 8
Member
3162 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

It definitely depends on how many guests you have. I’m not a fan because at my friend’s wedding last summer they did open seating and my friends and I were bridesmaids and were doing pics after the ceremony and by the time we got done there were just scattered seats everywhere! They put a “Reserved” sign on two tables for the wedding party and dates but some a**holes just took them off the tables and sat there! The bride had to get get one of the staffers to kick people out of those two tables. It was a total mess. That being said, if it is an intimate affair where most people know each other, it wouldn’t be the same kind of disaster.

Post # 9
Member
339 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I’m going to do assigned, but I’m having 200 guests.  I just have heard other brides talk about chairs from other tables being taken to add to other tables, and even people standing! because they didn’t want to sit where there were open seats.  I think it would be easier for my guests to know there is a place reserved for them.  I think non assigned would be easier, though, for a smaller wedding.  How many guests are you having?

Post # 10
Member
257 posts
Helper bee

I am not a big fan of it. It seems a bit too casual for me.

Post # 11
Member
2280 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Eh, I think there are problems either way. Open seating would probably work better if you have a well-mixed group of people, so there are connections between social groups, and the tables can accomodate larger party sizes. I can see it working quite well for farm style table arrangements.

I will add that even if the seats are assigned, the guests still have to find the seat, they could still disregard the seating chart, and they may not be completely happy with who they’re sitting with anyway. Can’t make everyone happy. Such is life!

Post # 12
Member
8353 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2011

I don’t think that just allowing guests to find their own seat is a very good idea because for some of them, it might be a little uncomfortable, especially the older guests and there may be some guests that get left out of a table and end up with people they don’t know. We are going to have escort cards assigning them to a table, but not a seat.

Post # 13
Member
332 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I think it might be okay with a small, intimate wedding where everyone knows each other. However our wedding will have over 200 guests, and since a lot of our friends don’t know anyone, I don’t want to stress them out by making them find their own seats.

Post # 14
Member
332 posts
Helper bee

Im going with open seating. I don’t think I’ve been to too many weddings that were assigned. Me personally, if I were a guest, I would rather pick where Im sitting. Whenever I have gone to a wedding thats open seating, I’ve never been nervous or stresses about it as a guest.

Post # 15
Member
4001 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I’d be afraid to do it.  I definitely don’t want to have to worry about creating the seating chart, but there seems to be more cons than pros.  The pros being, less that you’ll have to deal with and no one will feel slighted if they’re not sat with who they want to be sat with.  But the cons are that if a table fills up, there won’t be enough room for everyone to sit with everyone that they want.  Can you imagine a mad dash to get a table in an area they want?  My biggest issue is where the people choose to sit more so than who they sit with.  I know where I want my family to sit and where the bridal party should be seated.  If another group took those table, I’d be pissed!  And I know that I don’t want the elderly relatives near the DJ, but what happens if they have no choice? 

Post # 16
Member
979 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I used to think it was okay until I went to a wedding this past summer and it was terrible with open seating.  After the ceremony it was like someone shot a gun and said “go” and everyboyd got up but didn’t really know where to go.  It was an outdoor wedding and the tables were spread really far apart and it was just awkward.  Fiance and I ended up at a table with the bride’s grandma and crazy aunt.  It felt like these two women should have been sitting with the family that they don’t get to see very often.

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