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Reception Ideas

Assigned Seating - Yes or No

edited October 2015 in Reception Ideas

Assigned Seating - Yes or No 57 votes

Yes
75% 43 votes
No
24% 14 votes
Love is a magical thing, and no one is too old for a fairy tale.. <3

Re: Assigned Seating - Yes or No

  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited October 2015
    Depends on your crowd.

    Our venue was an historic mansion with seating all throughout the rooms of the 1st floor, so we had tables and chairs set up throughout. It wasn't like a banquet hall where everyone is in the same room, and it wasn't a sit down meal, it was more of a "cocktail" style reception with multiple food stations.

    Because of this, and because we had mostly extroverted guests and many people who overlapped multiple social circles we did not have assigned seating. Many of our guests described the reception as a really big family dinner party with family they never even knew they had. They loved it.

    So for us it worked. For other events or with other guests, it might be better to assign seats. Personally, I'm not always a fan, and the worst dining experiences I've had at weddings have been due to assigned seating and being placed at the Table of Misfit Toys.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    FutureMrsGlaze11313
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I'm not voting in this poll because there is no "Assigned tables only" option. That would be the best one. If such an option is added then I will vote for it.
    [Deleted User]JCocco219
  • Another person not voting because there's no "Assigned tables" choice. I don't care either way about assigned seats but for most weddings assigned tables save a ton of headaches and wasted place settings.
    [Deleted User]JCocco219
  • I meant assigned tables. If i try to change it, it goes through as a discussion not a poll.
    Love is a magical thing, and no one is too old for a fairy tale.. <3
  • Do yall know how long it would take to assign 200 people to a specific chair?! LOL And trying to keep those people there... Hell no!
    I just can't decide how i'm going to assign all the family tables. I'm sure grandparents would want to sit with parents and aunts and uncles. I think i might just have open seating.
    Love is a magical thing, and no one is too old for a fairy tale.. <3
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Do yall know how long it would take to assign 200 people to a specific chair?! LOL And trying to keep those people there... Hell no!
    I just can't decide how i'm going to assign all the family tables. I'm sure grandparents would want to sit with parents and aunts and uncles. I think i might just have open seating.
    It's really not as big of a deal as you're making it out to be. Dinner isn't very long, people mingle. People also don't fit nicely into packages of 8 or 10, so don't worry if you have a table of 8 here, 9 there, and 10 there, for example. 
    With 200 people, I strongly advise you to assign tables and just do the best you can. Otherwise, you're going to need seating for well over 200 so the people who are latest to the seating game don't get stuck alone or with people they don't know, aren't comfortable with, etc. 
    ________________________________


    PrettyGirlLostInLoveInQueensSTARMOON44
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Do yall know how long it would take to assign 200 people to a specific chair?! LOL And trying to keep those people there... Hell no!
    I just can't decide how i'm going to assign all the family tables. I'm sure grandparents would want to sit with parents and aunts and uncles. I think i might just have open seating.
    If you have open seating then you need to have at least 10% more seating for your guests.  So that means more chairs, more tables, centerpieces, linens, etc, etc, etc

  • Open seating for 200 people sounds like too much. Why not ask your grandparents who they would like to have at their table? I am planning on doing that with my mother and FMIL.

    PrettyGirlLostFutureMrsGlaze11313InLoveInQueensSTARMOON44
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited October 2015

    Do yall know how long it would take to assign 200 people to a specific chair?! LOL And trying to keep those people there... Hell no!

    I just can't decide how i'm going to assign all the family tables. I'm sure grandparents would want to sit with parents and aunts and uncles. I think i might just have open seating.
    The point of a seating chart is not to "keep" anyone at an assigned seat but to ensure that they have someplace to sit. What tends to happen with unassigned seating is that the first guests in the reception area grab tables and "reserve" them, forcing guests who arrive later to walk around looking for available seats, and if there's a buffet, they have to carry heavy trays of food while they do it, while wearing dress shoes. And if they don't know other people at the wedding, it can feel like a school cafeteria where you're trying to get a seat at the "right" table. No one wants to feel like that at an event that's supposed to thank them for attending the wedding of someone who's close enough to them that their presence at the ceremony is an honor.

    Also, part of being a good host means making sure everyone's needs, including having a guaranteed seat at the reception, are taken care of, so if you won't take the time to do that, you're not "honoring" your guests and your hosting skills are in question.

    [Deleted User]sparklepants41InLoveInQueensmollybarker11
  • 1. Split up your guest list into categories: Bride fam, groom fam (or bride #2 fam), his friends, your friends, joint friends etc. 

    2. See if any of them naturally fall into groups of 10 (or 12 or whatever you need) or see who could gel together (ie: your college friends +FI's college friends; not great-grandmas + FI's frat brothers). I did this mostly by age (yes I know some people's grandparents can throw down but I know my college aged cousins would prefer to sit with other college aged people)

    3. Try not to stress out about it. If there was a nasty divorce somewhere avoid seating those two together but as long as each person has SOMEONE they know with them there it will be fine. If I have tons of friends then  I expect to be seated with at least a couple of them, but I'm not surprised or upset if I'm seated with strangers

    4. Its dinner. As long as you don't have ton of long speeches or force people to watch a slide show they'll eat, they'll introduce themselves and that's pretty much it. It is worth the hassle to assign tables. 



    [Deleted User]thisismynickname2FutureMrsGlaze11313
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Ask your VIPs who they'd like to sit with. Honestly, doing the seating chart was not that hard for me. I asked my MIL who she wanted to sit with, and my parents. After that, I just grouped people on if they knew each other or had common interests. 

    FutureMrsGlaze11313InLoveInQueens
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Ask your VIPs who they'd like to sit with. Honestly, doing the seating chart was not that hard for me. I asked my MIL who she wanted to sit with, and my parents. After that, I just grouped people on if they knew each other or had common interests. 
    This was me as well.  I think it took me maybe 15 minutes to do our seating chart.  But H and I were lucky because there wasn't a huge amount of drama llamas to deal with.  But don't over think it.  Group people together who you think will like to sit together.  And just let what you come up with be it.

    InLoveInQueens
  • missa011missa011 member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited October 2015

    It literally took an hour for me to figure out tables. I will say my guest list DID split up very well (for example, all of our friends totaled 26 which were easy to put into 1 table of 10 and 2 tables of 8), but still, it's really not difficult. Ask your VIPs who they prefer to sit with and plan accordingly. 

    As PPs have said, 200 people with open seating is basically a cluster. My friend did this and many people did not have seats, or were unable to sit with their families/friends. I highly recommend assigned tables.   

  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Ask your VIPs who they'd like to sit with. Honestly, doing the seating chart was not that hard for me. I asked my MIL who she wanted to sit with, and my parents. After that, I just grouped people on if they knew each other or had common interests. 
    This was me as well.  I think it took me maybe 15 minutes to do our seating chart.  But H and I were lucky because there wasn't a huge amount of drama llamas to deal with.  But don't over think it.  Group people together who you think will like to sit together.  And just let what you come up with be it.
    add me to the list.

    As RSVPs came in I started adding people to tables based on who they group up with.  Needed to a little tweaking after they all came in, but really it wasn't a hard at all.   All my aunts/uncles together, all the island people together.  All my parents friends together.   If you think about it, most people fit into a group naturally anyway.   






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • I didnt think about all this. smh too stressed with other stuff. Thank y'all!
    Love is a magical thing, and no one is too old for a fairy tale.. <3
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Yes to assigned tables.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • edited October 2015
    Assigned table yes, assigned seats no. I would take an assigned seat over not knowing where to sit.

    Did that once and it was super awkward. I had to go to 4-5 tables before I found a table with an empty seat that wasn't saved.
  • We were just at a wedding that did not have assigned tables but had a table for the bridal party, 2 tables reserved for the bride's family, and one for the groom's family. We ended up sitting with friends of the bride's parents and ended up missing most of the cocktail hour because we had to sit and guard our seats for 40 minutes of it -- people were just moving other's people's stuff out of the way-- so the cocktail hour dragged.  They had overflow 3 tables outside on the lawn and that is where the groom's parents sat.  Multiple guests just said it was too stressful. So yes while it is annoying for you it is so much less stressful for your guests.
    [Deleted User]
  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    I voted no, but I think there are situations where it's more beneficial than others. For us, we are inviting 92 to our backyard wedding and expecting 75-80, nearly all family. We will have seating and tables for 100 regardless of RSVP #'s (unless it goes really low like 50-60, and then we'd adjust), and no assigned tables. Our tables are the banquet style, not round, and will be in long lines. Centerpieces are candles and beer bottles with flowers, so I don't have to worry about paying $50 per arrangement for extra round tables or anything. For all these reasons, I really don't anticipate any issues not assigning tables.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    JediElizabeth
  • I don't think it's necessary but you do have to think of your guests comfort. Will there be lots of people who only know a few folks? Will there be odd numbered families? It's hard to find a seat sometimes if you don't know anyone at the wedding, but it can also be super awkward to be a family of five and try and find seating at a table of 8. So those can be good reasons for assigned seating.

    On the other hand if you do assigned seating still think of your guests. Don't sit the one friend who only knows one or two other people with people they don't know because there's a "singles table" I've been there that's awkward and no fun. 

    So I guess I'm just saying that while not necessary assigned tables can be good things, just be considerate of the people you are hosting. 
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