Etiquette

Can I Just Do Half a Seating Chart?

So our wedding is in 11 days and so far I am short a lot of RSVP's.  I know many of those people for sure aren't coming (like a ton of them are from across the country, so I don't think they will randomly turn up).  I've also got a bunch of local friends who said "Maybe" or who say they are coming, but I am super doubtful (like they don't even have a reliable vehicle or valid drivers licences, so...).  I have attempted to contact people, and so far, no replies, which I feel is probably just a no.

I don't want to have a lot of empty/half-empty tables, or potentially not enough seating.  So can I reserve 4 tables for the immediate family (the front 4, and they will know who goes where) and then just leave the rest of the guests to sit where they want?  As it stands we planned for 10 tables, and I have at least one that's totally empty at this point, and one that has 4 of 6 chairs full.  Some tables only have 5 people at them.  I feel like if we set up all 10 tables, there will be enough seating that people can sit themselves (many are friend groups, but there are a few randoms, so maybe that won't work).  Should I just do the best I can and people who didn't RSVP or gave a "maybe" can sit at whatever tables aren't full if they turn up?

Re: Can I Just Do Half a Seating Chart?

  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I say do assigned seats and let people who just show up fend for themselves. Will you have enough food and drinks if all these no replies show up?
    OurWildKingdomernursejPrettyGirlLost


  • I say do assigned seats and let people who just show up fend for themselves. Will you have enough food and drinks if all these no replies show up?


    We are basically planning the food like all the "maybes" and local no-replies will turn up. I don't think any of the no-replies from out of province are going to arrive at random, so we aren't preparing for them.  We are doing buffet and basically are intending there to be enough that everyone can have seconds, so I don't think we will run out of food (and we bought enough beverages for a wedding triple the size).
    OurWildKingdom


  • So our wedding is in 11 days and so far I am short a lot of RSVP's.  I know many of those people for sure aren't coming (like a ton of them are from across the country, so I don't think they will randomly turn up).  I've also got a bunch of local friends who said "Maybe" or who say they are coming, but I am super doubtful (like they don't even have a reliable vehicle or valid drivers licences, so...).  I have attempted to contact people, and so far, no replies, which I feel is probably just a no.

    I don't want to have a lot of empty/half-empty tables, or potentially not enough seating.  So can I reserve 4 tables for the immediate family (the front 4, and they will know who goes where) and then just leave the rest of the guests to sit where they want?  As it stands we planned for 10 tables, and I have at least one that's totally empty at this point, and one that has 4 of 6 chairs full.  Some tables only have 5 people at them.  I feel like if we set up all 10 tables, there will be enough seating that people can sit themselves (many are friend groups, but there are a few randoms, so maybe that won't work).  Should I just do the best I can and people who didn't RSVP or gave a "maybe" can sit at whatever tables aren't full if they turn up?


    I would still assign tables. You can leave a few seats at some in case the maybes would want to sit with those tables. Even a full empty table won't look that strange. 
    OurWildKingdomInLoveInQueens
  • Pick one or the other. If there's plenty of room there's no need to save seats for your family. If you want your family in a specific spot, assign all the guests to tables, combine them so the tables are mostly full, and anyone who didn't bother doing you the courtesy of RSVPing can sit at a leftover table if they show up. 
    SP29OurWildKingdomInLoveInQueens
  • Thanks ladies!  I will do that then :smile: Seating plans are a pain in the neck, LOL
    MesmrEwe

  • SP29 said:

    I agree with Starmoon to either do one or the other. But particularly since you mention issues with family and friends, I think it would be more important for you to have a seating chart for all guests (by table, not individual seat) so you can keep the peace and ensure guests like your friends will be sitting with people they will be comfortable with.

    As for the "unknowns", if you haven't done this already, call up those who haven't RSVP'd yet and tell them (whether verbally or voice mail), "Hi So-and-So, we haven't received your reply yet for the wedding and we wanted to make sure you received the invitation. If so, we need an answer by X date at noon/4pm/midnight (say 7 days out from the wedding) or we will consider your response a 'no'". You should try to contact those who haven't responded as you never know, they may not have gotten the invitation, or their RSVP was lost in the mail (I had both scenarios happen). Once you have contacted your guests, if they still don't respond by your X date, it's pretty fair to count them as a no- the onus is on the guest to RSVP and it would be rude of them to show up without RSVPing. But hopefully but doing all of this work you will get more firm answers either way, leaving you with less worry about how many extra tables you should leave open.


    Oh I have left messages, and texted, and FB'd people I don't have #'s for. Waiting for responses from everyone I didn't get to speak to yet. 

    I went ahead and made the plan, and printed off escort cards. I just made a few blank with the "straggler table" number so I can add peoples names last minute if need be.  I still have time to make adjustments and print a few new ones if I hear from people in time. 
    ILoveBeachMusicshort+sassyOurWildKingdomSP29
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    We did about a third of our guests for seating charts (Groups that knew only a small circle of people and VIP's).  Personally I'm NAF of seating charts, so I say let people decide where they want to sit.
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • I recommend a seating chart. If, however, you reserve tables, please tell the people who are to sit there. I've attended weddings with reserved signs on some of the tables, but everyone assumed it was reserved for someone else, so those tables sat empty, and the others were overpacked.
    "Marriage is so disruptive to one's social circle." - Mr. Woodhouse
    OurWildKingdomInLoveInQueens
  • It comes off as very rude when you do a seating chart for some guests and not others. People should be treated equally. 
    InLoveInQueensSP29MyNameIsNot
  • Yes, I did a chart, as I mentioned above in the comments. I also left messages telling people a lack of response would be taken as a no. We did actually hear back from quite a few people saying yes, who had failed to RSVP.  
    short+sassySP29
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