Etiquette

Parents Treating Invitations Like Oprah Treats Gifts -- Everybody Gets One!

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Re: Parents Treating Invitations Like Oprah Treats Gifts -- Everybody Gets One!

  • I logged in for the first time in days and was wondering why this had  so many comments. Oof. 

    Look, OP, you need seats for everyone. This is, like, basic hosting 101. I can't believe this actually needs to be explained to you. 
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    sparklepants41charlotte989875
  • I can't imagine the reception not having enough seats, we were concerned about not enough seats for the hour between ceremony and reception in case everyone wanted to sit!
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  • MandyMost said:
    Bless your heart.. There is nothing "southern" about not having enough seats for people. All that means is sore feet and bad planning. The opposite of southern hospitality.

    We had a non-assigned seat, cocktail style wedding (with a full meal) and we actually had EXTRA seating to ensure that, even if people left space between them or didn't fill tables, everyone had a seat if they wanted one. 

    At any wedding (fundraiser or other event) I've been to without enough seats, people leave early. If you don't want that for your wedding, get enough chairs. 
    Did people actually leave EARLY or did they leave after the expected amount of time for the type of event? Not every event needs the same timeline. But if you're going for a real cocktail party type of event, the rest of the event and planning should be in line with that. You should expect people to not stay as long, and you shouldn't have any events where people are expected to sit and give you attention (like toasts, for example, unless it's literally just a 30-second toast). Since you are actually serving a meal, it is odd to me that you won't have chairs for everyone--typically a cocktail party is before or after a meal. 
    Maybe I'm not really understanding the question, but both? So for example, I went to a wedding like this where they only had seats for about 60% of the guests and "heavy appetizers". The reception started at 6 and ended at 11. Once guests realized there was no where for them to sit and no meal was being served, most people left by 7:30/8 (both early AND before expected). 

    I have seen more and more of these types of events. Couples justify them by saying "we want people to mingle" and "we can save money by doing heavy apps versus a meal". But at the end of the day, guests are just uncomfortable and hungry.

    Couples can still get people to mingle by getting a venue big enough to accommodate a high-top area next to a big bar with plenty of bartenders so no one waits for a drink. Then have passed apps in the high-top area. Then have stations to allow those who prefer to get their food and sit down to do that. It's really uncomplicated and it's beyond me why couples would choose discomfort and not enough food for their guests.
    Sometimes when people throw a cocktail party they plan the event for 2-3 hours (and of course not over a mealtime). So the party could be 8-10pm, or 2-5pm, etc. When people leave after 2-3 hours it's the expected time, they're not leaving early.

    When people throw cocktail parties over a mealtime and expect people to stay for 5 hours, that's the issue. If the party was 6-11 they should have had seats for everyone. Even though it was a mealtime, if it was heavy apps starting at 6pm the event should have been 6-8pm, not 6-11!
  • MandyMost said:
    MandyMost said:
    Bless your heart.. There is nothing "southern" about not having enough seats for people. All that means is sore feet and bad planning. The opposite of southern hospitality.

    We had a non-assigned seat, cocktail style wedding (with a full meal) and we actually had EXTRA seating to ensure that, even if people left space between them or didn't fill tables, everyone had a seat if they wanted one. 

    At any wedding (fundraiser or other event) I've been to without enough seats, people leave early. If you don't want that for your wedding, get enough chairs. 
    Did people actually leave EARLY or did they leave after the expected amount of time for the type of event? Not every event needs the same timeline. But if you're going for a real cocktail party type of event, the rest of the event and planning should be in line with that. You should expect people to not stay as long, and you shouldn't have any events where people are expected to sit and give you attention (like toasts, for example, unless it's literally just a 30-second toast). Since you are actually serving a meal, it is odd to me that you won't have chairs for everyone--typically a cocktail party is before or after a meal. 
    Maybe I'm not really understanding the question, but both? So for example, I went to a wedding like this where they only had seats for about 60% of the guests and "heavy appetizers". The reception started at 6 and ended at 11. Once guests realized there was no where for them to sit and no meal was being served, most people left by 7:30/8 (both early AND before expected). 

    I have seen more and more of these types of events. Couples justify them by saying "we want people to mingle" and "we can save money by doing heavy apps versus a meal". But at the end of the day, guests are just uncomfortable and hungry.

    Couples can still get people to mingle by getting a venue big enough to accommodate a high-top area next to a big bar with plenty of bartenders so no one waits for a drink. Then have passed apps in the high-top area. Then have stations to allow those who prefer to get their food and sit down to do that. It's really uncomplicated and it's beyond me why couples would choose discomfort and not enough food for their guests.
    Sometimes when people throw a cocktail party they plan the event for 2-3 hours (and of course not over a mealtime). So the party could be 8-10pm, or 2-5pm, etc. When people leave after 2-3 hours it's the expected time, they're not leaving early.

    When people throw cocktail parties over a mealtime and expect people to stay for 5 hours, that's the issue. If the party was 6-11 they should have had seats for everyone. Even though it was a mealtime, if it was heavy apps starting at 6pm the event should have been 6-8pm, not 6-11!
    I think I see what you mean. Even if their reception is "only" 2-3 hours, they should still have chairs for everyone. When couples come here and they're like "my ceremony is only 30 minutes, so everyone will stand", we're always like "uh no, you need chairs". IMO, this is not different.

    What OP is talking about is a wedding reception that follows the same time frame as dinner and dancing receptions (5ish hours), but just with less food and fewer chairs. Couples do it to 1) save money and 2) try to get people to mingle (if they can't sit they have to walk around, amirite?). 
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    MairePoppy
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member
    MandyMost said:
    MandyMost said:
    Bless your heart.. There is nothing "southern" about not having enough seats for people. All that means is sore feet and bad planning. The opposite of southern hospitality.

    We had a non-assigned seat, cocktail style wedding (with a full meal) and we actually had EXTRA seating to ensure that, even if people left space between them or didn't fill tables, everyone had a seat if they wanted one. 

    At any wedding (fundraiser or other event) I've been to without enough seats, people leave early. If you don't want that for your wedding, get enough chairs. 
    Did people actually leave EARLY or did they leave after the expected amount of time for the type of event? Not every event needs the same timeline. But if you're going for a real cocktail party type of event, the rest of the event and planning should be in line with that. You should expect people to not stay as long, and you shouldn't have any events where people are expected to sit and give you attention (like toasts, for example, unless it's literally just a 30-second toast). Since you are actually serving a meal, it is odd to me that you won't have chairs for everyone--typically a cocktail party is before or after a meal. 
    Maybe I'm not really understanding the question, but both? So for example, I went to a wedding like this where they only had seats for about 60% of the guests and "heavy appetizers". The reception started at 6 and ended at 11. Once guests realized there was no where for them to sit and no meal was being served, most people left by 7:30/8 (both early AND before expected). 

    I have seen more and more of these types of events. Couples justify them by saying "we want people to mingle" and "we can save money by doing heavy apps versus a meal". But at the end of the day, guests are just uncomfortable and hungry.

    Couples can still get people to mingle by getting a venue big enough to accommodate a high-top area next to a big bar with plenty of bartenders so no one waits for a drink. Then have passed apps in the high-top area. Then have stations to allow those who prefer to get their food and sit down to do that. It's really uncomplicated and it's beyond me why couples would choose discomfort and not enough food for their guests.
    Sometimes when people throw a cocktail party they plan the event for 2-3 hours (and of course not over a mealtime). So the party could be 8-10pm, or 2-5pm, etc. When people leave after 2-3 hours it's the expected time, they're not leaving early.

    When people throw cocktail parties over a mealtime and expect people to stay for 5 hours, that's the issue. If the party was 6-11 they should have had seats for everyone. Even though it was a mealtime, if it was heavy apps starting at 6pm the event should have been 6-8pm, not 6-11!
    I think I see what you mean. Even if their reception is "only" 2-3 hours, they should still have chairs for everyone. When couples come here and they're like "my ceremony is only 30 minutes, so everyone will stand", we're always like "uh no, you need chairs". IMO, this is not different.

    What OP is talking about is a wedding reception that follows the same time frame as dinner and dancing receptions (5ish hours), but just with less food and fewer chairs. Couples do it to 1) save money and 2) try to get people to mingle (if they can't sit they have to walk around, amirite?). 
    So I really want to know who actually cares about this? Why would any adult care if/how other adults talk to a completely different group of adults. Like, this just isn't something I understand caring about. 
    Theoretically, yes, I agree that whether people mingle is not something hosts need to worry about.

    But in practice, I've seen several instances where people don't mingle. They keep to themselves, like a little clique, and other guests who don't know anyone else don't feel welcome to approach them, introduce themselves, and begin a conversation. And that can make hosts uncomfortable if they know that there are guests who feel uncomfortable because they aren't part of a circle where the people know each other and have things in common to talk about.

    I do think it makes most sense to seat guests in the same circles together and not to try to force mingling by deliberately seating them in contrived patterns where they're not sitting together. And it seems counterproductive, because they'll immediately seek each other out anyway to the exclusion of whoever they were seated with.
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    Jen4948 said:
    MandyMost said:
    MandyMost said:
    Bless your heart.. There is nothing "southern" about not having enough seats for people. All that means is sore feet and bad planning. The opposite of southern hospitality.

    We had a non-assigned seat, cocktail style wedding (with a full meal) and we actually had EXTRA seating to ensure that, even if people left space between them or didn't fill tables, everyone had a seat if they wanted one. 

    At any wedding (fundraiser or other event) I've been to without enough seats, people leave early. If you don't want that for your wedding, get enough chairs. 
    Did people actually leave EARLY or did they leave after the expected amount of time for the type of event? Not every event needs the same timeline. But if you're going for a real cocktail party type of event, the rest of the event and planning should be in line with that. You should expect people to not stay as long, and you shouldn't have any events where people are expected to sit and give you attention (like toasts, for example, unless it's literally just a 30-second toast). Since you are actually serving a meal, it is odd to me that you won't have chairs for everyone--typically a cocktail party is before or after a meal. 
    Maybe I'm not really understanding the question, but both? So for example, I went to a wedding like this where they only had seats for about 60% of the guests and "heavy appetizers". The reception started at 6 and ended at 11. Once guests realized there was no where for them to sit and no meal was being served, most people left by 7:30/8 (both early AND before expected). 

    I have seen more and more of these types of events. Couples justify them by saying "we want people to mingle" and "we can save money by doing heavy apps versus a meal". But at the end of the day, guests are just uncomfortable and hungry.

    Couples can still get people to mingle by getting a venue big enough to accommodate a high-top area next to a big bar with plenty of bartenders so no one waits for a drink. Then have passed apps in the high-top area. Then have stations to allow those who prefer to get their food and sit down to do that. It's really uncomplicated and it's beyond me why couples would choose discomfort and not enough food for their guests.
    Sometimes when people throw a cocktail party they plan the event for 2-3 hours (and of course not over a mealtime). So the party could be 8-10pm, or 2-5pm, etc. When people leave after 2-3 hours it's the expected time, they're not leaving early.

    When people throw cocktail parties over a mealtime and expect people to stay for 5 hours, that's the issue. If the party was 6-11 they should have had seats for everyone. Even though it was a mealtime, if it was heavy apps starting at 6pm the event should have been 6-8pm, not 6-11!
    I think I see what you mean. Even if their reception is "only" 2-3 hours, they should still have chairs for everyone. When couples come here and they're like "my ceremony is only 30 minutes, so everyone will stand", we're always like "uh no, you need chairs". IMO, this is not different.

    What OP is talking about is a wedding reception that follows the same time frame as dinner and dancing receptions (5ish hours), but just with less food and fewer chairs. Couples do it to 1) save money and 2) try to get people to mingle (if they can't sit they have to walk around, amirite?). 
    So I really want to know who actually cares about this? Why would any adult care if/how other adults talk to a completely different group of adults. Like, this just isn't something I understand caring about. 
    Theoretically, yes, I agree that whether people mingle is not something hosts need to worry about.

    But in practice, I've seen several instances where people don't mingle. They keep to themselves, like a little clique, and other guests who don't know anyone else don't feel welcome to approach them, introduce themselves, and begin a conversation. And that can make hosts uncomfortable if they know that there are guests who feel uncomfortable because they aren't part of a circle where the people know each other and have things in common to talk about.

    I do think it makes most sense to seat guests in the same circles together and not to try to force mingling by deliberately seating them in contrived patterns where they're not sitting together. And it seems counterproductive, because they'll immediately seek each other out anyway to the exclusion of whoever they were seated with.
    Yeah, you can't control this, so both theoretically and in practice, you just shouldn't worry about it. It might be an uncomfortable atmosphere as a host, but it's just dependent on what guests you have invited. There's very little you can do in terms of "mingling."

    If there's a cocktail hour, chairs or no chairs, a guest who doesn't know any other guests isn't likely to be invited to talk to a separate group if someone from those groups is not the gregarious, inviting type, or if they themselves don't feel totally comfortable starting conversations with people they don't know. They'll just be standing by themselves instead of sitting by themselves. The best you can do is dinner, seating any "loners" with a plus one and/or said gregarious type at dinner. However, you just can't make people interact socially. If they aren't going to strike up a conversation in the bar line, they're not going to be more included because someone took the option of chairs away.

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    STARMOON44SP29InLoveInQueens

  • Yeah, you can't control this, so both theoretically and in practice, you just shouldn't worry about it. It might be an uncomfortable atmosphere as a host, but it's just dependent on what guests you have invited. There's very little you can do in terms of "mingling."

    If there's a cocktail hour, chairs or no chairs, a guest who doesn't know any other guests isn't likely to be invited to talk to a separate group if someone from those groups is not the gregarious, inviting type, or if they themselves don't feel totally comfortable starting conversations with people they don't know. They'll just be standing by themselves instead of sitting by themselves. The best you can do is dinner, seating any "loners" with a plus one and/or said gregarious type at dinner. However, you just can't make people interact socially. If they aren't going to strike up a conversation in the bar line, they're not going to be more included because someone took the option of chairs away.
    Agreed. I'm quite introverted and shy. I'm polite and happy to engage with people, but I'm not the type to strike up a conversation on my own. I tend to stick with people I know. I'm also big on food. If there isn't a chair to sit on, I'll just be peeved I can't eat comfortably instead of mingling with other guests.


    short+sassylevioosa
  • I live in the south and have been to probably over 100 weddings. You are right that most weddings here are buffet and station style. But, I have never been to a single wedding where they didn't have seats for everyone there. And, there is also always several times when all/most are sitting. 
    short+sassyInLoveInQueens
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