My fiance and I are very set on having "stations" at our reception, instead of a standard plated meal or a buffet style meal. We like the fact that our guests will be able to mingle and not be seated for hours eating-our goal is to have a laid back, fun reception, and want to encourage our guests to feel free to move around and talk to everyone. However, I have never been to a wedding with Stations, and would like feedback from others who have experience one or are planning one.
Our consultant from our venue says that seating for all of our guests, especially assigned seating, is not necessary because everyone will be eating at different times and moving around. I am very hesitant about this, and really believe that even if people are not tied down to their seats the whole time, it is good for everyone to have a place to go. If some of the younger guests put their purses or jackets down and then never return to their seats, fine, but I know that some of my guests who are older, even my parents age, and are used to "traditional" weddings would be unhappy if they got up from there seat and returned to find it occupied by another.
I really appreciate any help on this issue, and any advice about food stations is greatly appreciated. I don't want to commit to this if I have idealized it in my head but it doesn't actually run as smooth as I imagine!