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Food and Cakes

Seated vs. Standing Reception

I found the reception place of my dreams which is a historic mansion with tons of character between its 7 rooms on the main floor, all at our disposal.  We will have about 150 in attendance.  If we do a seated dinner, we will be packed in because of the seperate rooms, but we'd fit.  I would prefer to do a standing reception with a buffet and/or stations setting random sized tables and chairs around the house and outside.  Do you feel it is necessary to have a seat at a table for every guest? 

Re: Seated vs. Standing Reception

  • HaylaCHaylaC
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Comments
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    edited December 2011
    yes every guest needs a seat IMO, you cant expect people to eat standing up. 
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  • edited December 2011
    Absolutely necessary to have a seat for every guest. If you have the ability for everyone to sit at the venue, then let them sit. It's ok to walk and stand to GET the food, but it would be difficult to walk and stand to EAT the food.
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  • mrbarclaymrbarclay
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    edited December 2011
    A seat for everyone goes without saying.  But, do each of them have to be at a table?  I plan to get some nice chairs and furniture to set around, but they may not have a table in front of them.
  • HaylaCHaylaC
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Comments
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    edited December 2011
    well i guess that depends on the type of food you are serving.  If it was cake i would probably be ok with that,  If it is a full blown meal i wouldn't be too happy, i hate eating on my lap at the best of times, but especially in an expensive dress.  Plus its nice to have people sitting in groups so they can talk better.
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  • AbbeyS2011AbbeyS2011
    1000 Comments
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    edited December 2011
    It would be difficult for your guests to balance a plate on their laps, plus put their drink on the floor, which could potentially spill on the antique rug or on the shoes of another guest, which could cause a commotion, plates flying everywhere.............not a good scenario. 

    I would want to have a place to set my food and drink at so I could eat it and visit with the other guests.  You really need tables for everyone also.

    I had looked into having my wedding at a historical house, but we have alot of kids in the family which will be invited, and it has been my experience that historical sites and kids do not always mix well. 

    Also, with all those different rooms, it will be difficult for you to do certain things: the cake cutting, toasts, etc., with everyone present.  When my MOH got married, their reception was divided into two different rooms so alot of their guests ended up leaving early because they were not as close to the Bride and Groom and missed some stuff. 
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  • edited December 2011
    I think some sort of table is needed.  It doesn't have to be a traditional table that seats 8-10 people with a floral centerpiece, but something to rest their plate on and have a few people around them to chat with.
  • edited December 2011
    When I get dressed up, I would prefer not to have to rest the plate on my lap. I agree with Cai, too!
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  • Simply FatedSimply Fated
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Seated vs. Standing Reception:
    A seat for everyone goes without saying.  But, do each of them have to be at a table?  I plan to get some nice chairs and furniture to set around, but they may not have a table in front of them.
    Posted by mrbarclay
    If I don't have a table to eat my food over, I'd be super annoyed.
    Unless your venue is the streets of Manhatten and you're serving water dogs, I want a chair and a table to eat with, please.
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  • edited December 2011
    I'm having my wedding in a historical mansion too with lots of different rooms! So we are in the same boat. I decided to do different tables of different heights , mostly once you sit at, some high tops to stand, etc. I am having stations serve food in cool but small vessels (i.e. short ribs over risotto in mini mason jars, sushi in bento boxes, sliders in kraft bags w/ shooters of mini milkshakes, lobster mac n cheese in martini glasses, etc etc) so people can stand and eat if they like, but there will be enough chairs for everyone.  I will have the stations throughout the top floor of the castle with the tables being spread throughout as well as the stations, even in the grand hall so it all flows. I am also going to have servers pass around some of the food like cocktail party style to alleviate lines, keep things moving and avoid it feelling like a buffet.
  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Seated vs. Standing Reception:
    In Response to Re: Seated vs. Standing Reception : If I don't have a table to eat my food over, I'd be super annoyed. Unless your venue is the streets of Manhatten and you're serving water dogs, I want a chair and a table to eat with, please.
    Posted by Simply Fated
    Ditto this.  If I'm uncomfortable, I'm going to stay just long enough to say congratulations and talk to a few people, then I'll skedaddle. 
  • edited December 2011
    Yes, you need to have a chair for each guest, preferably at a table where they can place their plate without having to balance and shuffle. I really don't see a standing reception going over very well. Sorry.
  • msktn95msktn95
    500 Comments Third Anniversary
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Seated vs. Standing Reception:
    I found the reception place of my dreams which is a historic mansion with tons of character between its 7 rooms on the main floor, all at our disposal.  We will have about 150 in attendance.  If we do a seated dinner, we will be packed in because of the seperate rooms, but we'd fit.  I would prefer to do a standing reception with a buffet and/or stations setting random sized tables and chairs around the house and outside.  Do you feel it is necessary to have a seat at a table for every guest? 
    Posted by mrbarclay
    We are having our wedding at a historic mansion also.  Similar to your description. We will have 135 guest. The mansion has a garden area.  We plan to have a cocktail hour in the garden area.  As for as Dinner, it will be served in the main house.  We will use all the rooms. Each room will be set up for dinner.  Everyone will have a seat. So, guest will eat in different rooms, but everyone will be seated. Once dinner is over we plan to move to another part of the property for dancing, cake cutting and etc. We will also supply more food to our guest, but it will small cocktail items. We will have counter height tables and stools set up for the guest. So some will be sitting and some will be standing.  At this point we should be dancing and mingling so seating will not be as important.  I hope this helps.
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  • blush64blush64
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Comments
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    edited December 2011
    I think every guest should have a seat. Maybe everyone won't use it all the time but the option should be there.
  • edited December 2011
    I can't imagine being at a wedding reception and being expected to stand up to eat.
  • BlueBoxBrideBlueBoxBride
    100 Comments 5 Love Its
    member
    edited December 2011
    To the brides justifying the "creative" seating arrangements, DON'T go through with it. The worst wedding I went to was one where they had some seated tables, some lounge seating, some cocktail tables... It was the worst. I had to have my FI hold my drink while I tried cutting my food, we didn't eat as much as we needed to, no room to relax between dances because the old people sat in the seats all night... Let me tell you, we paid $1k for travel to attend and it was the first time we met our friend's bride (they met after college). Not having a proper place to sit and ENJOY a meal did not give us a good impression of her. Imagine how you would feel if you bought a new cocktail dress for the affair and were asked to eat food covered in sauces out of your lap...
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  • nannewmurnannewmur
    100 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    I have read through all post and wouldlike to mention two things that have not been said:

    1) My husband has severe RA (you wouldn't know it from looking at him) and if we walked into a reception that food was being served and there not be a table and chair, we would have to leave.  It is extremely painful for him to stand for over 15 minutes and to balance food would be horrible.  Anyone with fibromyalga, arthritis, lupus or recovering from illness or being treated for a major medical problem (ex: chemo pts) would be extremely uncomfortable without  a table and chairs.

    2) How many older guest do you have attending?  Older people need tables and chairs and you don't want to risk someone falling and getting injured.

    You are hosting a party and they are your guest.  Make them feel welcome and have each a table and chairs.
  • Mariodacat2Mariodacat2
    First Comment
    member
    edited December 2011
    Your female guests will want to have a place to put their purse, coat etc. Women like to make a nest, no nest, no guest.
  • edited December 2011
    I have RA, plus a variety of foot and ankle problems, so I would be pissed if I had to stand for a long time.  Yes, I look like a healthy 20-something, but I would be miserable.

    Additionally, I'm sure there is at least one klutz on your guest list.  Drinks are going to be kicked over, food dropped, etc.  It'll be a mess.
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  • edited December 2011
    I would have enough tables and chairs for everyone and the lounge seating can just be extra. Like I said, I'm doing a cocktail style reception but with a mix of table sizes throughout the castle. I think it's fine so people do have a place to sit if they want, but they can also go and drink a martini in front of the fireplace, listen to the piano player, mingle, go to the bar, eat at a table, etc. 
  • tldhtldh
    2500 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Seated vs. Standing Reception:
    I found the reception place of my dreams which is a historic mansion with tons of character between its 7 rooms on the main floor, all at our disposal.  We will have about 150 in attendance.  If we do a seated dinner, we will be packed in because of the seperate rooms, but we'd fit.  I would prefer to do a standing reception with a buffet and/or stations setting random sized tables and chairs around the house and outside.  Do you feel it is necessary to have a seat at a table for every guest? 
    Posted by mrbarclay
    I was also married in a historic home and yes, you have to have a seat at a table for every person if you are having a seated dinner. 
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  • sararicksararick
    First Comment
    member
    edited December 2011
    I'm getting married in my old church 3 hours from some guest points. The church hall only seats 100 but there's a large room doen on the next level that could be used for extra seating. We don't want to not invite friends, but we don't want our guests feeling left out or snubbed. We also have a small budget & will be doing a lot of DIY. Would it be rude to have 2 reception rooms & have the bride & groom move around so everyone can celebrate? Your feedback encouraged.
  • tldhtldh
    2500 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Seated vs. Standing Reception:
    I'm getting married in my old church 3 hours from some guest points. The church hall only seats 100 but there's a large room doen on the next level that could be used for extra seating. We don't want to not invite friends, but we don't want our guests feeling left out or snubbed. We also have a small budget & will be doing a lot of DIY. Would it be rude to have 2 reception rooms & have the bride & groom move around so everyone can celebrate? Your feedback encouraged.
    Posted by sararick
    Please start your own thread with this one.  Hijacking a thread is not good netiquette.
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  • I realize this is an incredibly old post but jeez I have never read so many crazy comments. You can totally have a standing reception but you have to consider how long you want your reception to be and make sure that the food is finger/fork friendly. Have a lot of butler passed appetizers that are 2 biters and entrees that are easy to eat at highboys. If there are people with disabilities then a few places can be reserved specifically for them. Why have the same old stuffy seated receptions? Having a cocktail reception should in no way be the basis of how someone forms an opinion of a person, as in some of the comments. A wedding is still a party and the wedding is meant to be something special between that couple. I think that some commentators need to lighten up a bit.
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!)
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers Second Anniversary
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    edited March 6
    I realize this is an incredibly old post but jeez I have never read so many crazy comments. You can totally have a standing reception but you have to consider how long you want your reception to be and make sure that the food is finger/fork friendly. Have a lot of butler passed appetizers that are 2 biters and entrees that are easy to eat at highboys. If there are people with disabilities then a few places can be reserved specifically for them. Why have the same old stuffy seated receptions? Having a cocktail reception should in no way be the basis of how someone forms an opinion of a person, as in some of the comments. A wedding is still a party and the wedding is meant to be something special between that couple. I think that some commentators need to lighten up a bit.
    Hmmm, if everyone is saying the same thing, perhaps the comments aren't crazy!  I don't want to go to a reception and have to stand with my purse, drink, food, camera, jacket, whatever all night long.  If there were no seats, I'd be leaving fairly quickly.  Cocktail receptions are great, but that doesn't mean you forego seating.

    ETA - Please don't dig up 3 year old threads.  @KnotPorscha
  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
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    edited March 6
    @KnotPorscha, zombie thread.

    You seriously resurrected a 3 year old thread to tell people who aren't around anymore to lighten up?  What did you think that would accomplish?

    And standing receptions are hella rude, both to the disabled and abled guests. It would be a very short reception, I guarantee it. Nobody wants to stand around that long. They'd grab a snack, say hello to the bride and groom, drink something real quick, and split. The reception isn't 'something special for the couple'.  It's for the guests, to allow them to give their best wishes to the couple and for the couple to thank them for taking time out of their busy lives to attend the wedding. The ceremony is about the couple, but they're still expected to uphold the minimum standard of hospitality, of which adequate and appropriate seating is one.  Letting people sit down to eat and visit isn't 'stuffy' or stodgy...it's just plain polite. Really. Tell you what, you pick up your purse, a plate of food, a fork, a napkin, a drink, drape your coat over your arm, and put on a pair of heels and stand in your living room for 3 hours straight. Tell me what you think about it then. Bonus points if you turn the heat up to 90 or the air conditioner down to 45. Even better...go stand in the middle of your back yard.

    Standing receptions have never been and will never be OK. Period. Not only would I hardcore judge a couple who had one, but I wouldn't stay for it. How good a friend are they if they can't be bothered to see to my comfort?  If they think the wedding is all about them, then they can elope. Then it would be all about them.

    ETA: Punctuation, yo.
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