• Images
  • Text
  • Find a Couple + Registry
GO
African American Weddings

No RSVPs & Open Seating

Ok, this is 2 part question. I've been trying to look up advice on this but no real luck. I would've put this on another board like "Etiquette" but the other brides can be pretty nasty with their answers.

1.) So I don't have like a professional wedding planner, it's basically me and my mom. So I've been browsing invites and the topic of rsvp options for the reception popped up. I asked her how guests should rsvp (reply cards, phone, online, etc). She said that she wasn't expecting us to do rsvps. Now I've only been to a couple of weddings and a formal dinner (versuses her many invites to the same). In our circle of family & friends it's not really common to rsvp but I'm just nervous that we'd regret it if we didn't. She's also a major financial contributer so she said that she's prepared to pay for extra food, drinks, tables, etc. So, should I push the topic or leave it alone? Is having a rsvp list necessary? Opinions, ladies, please?

2.) At the reception, we're also planning to have open seating (no reserved tables or seats). Seating charts are another thing that is not common for my group, and to be honest, I don't really want to deal with organizing one. From experience, I've not had much issues with open seating except for that I may not bring something (coat, purse, etc.) or have someone around to save my seat but I'm usually lucky to find another seat. I can't remember where but I stumbled across an idea a bride had where she was having open seating at her reception but was supplying each guest with a card that they could place on their seat while their up dancing, getting food, etc. and others will know that the seat is taken. I was thinking of doing this and putting a saying on the card like "Please, be neat and not take my seat." (Sorry, it's random and corny but it's just a rough thought). I just don't want it to be a waste if people don't use them. As a guest, what would you think of this?

Thanks in advance for any helpful answers or opinions.
Wedding Countdown Ticker

Re: No RSVPs & Open Seating

  • keyaira04keyaira04 member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited April 2012
    I feel you regarding the other boards... #1 interesting, but i do see both sides. does your venue ask for a final count? I would only think about or have her think about what if 15 extra people come and the cater only makes 5 extra plates than what you told them? I would check with them to see how many extra plates they make. Would this include no rsvps for plus ones as well? And are you and your FI ok with not knowing who might come to your wedding/ reception. No safety concerns? Above all else, maybe these questions will help guide this convo. #2 I am doing this, the open seating. Just went to a big vow renewal and hated assigned seating. My family was on the other side of the room and since we had not seen each other in a long while, we kept getting up the whole night! Plus seating planning would stress me out. So I understand. I am not sure about the sign tho. It may be a waste of paper and printing, esp if you plan to have menu cards. I would just go without them. We did and it was not a big issue. I hope this helps.
    Daisypath Wedding tickers LilySlim Fitness goals tickers
  • Just a couple of questions to put things in perspective:
    -Does your venue need a count before your wedding date? Does the person catering need a count?  
    If so, how do you foresee doing this without RSVPs. 

    -How do you know how many tables you will need?


    Personally, I think it's tedious to do RSVP's and seating charts but in the end if you would like an organized event that is a little stress free then you want to do the busy work. 


    Anniversary
  • M1ssJM1ssJ member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    Ok I will say that I think you need RSVP's , even though your mom is paying for it people get really inconsiderate and your estimate may end up 50 plus or 100 plus if there is no expectation of limits. That presents issues with how much you need to pay the venue in advance, how many linens to order, how many centerpieces to get, will the venue run out of food, etc. Your mom could also end up wasting a lot of money because the venue will see this as an opportunity to overcharge on everything because there is no firm number

    There are so many RSVP options, choose one thats right for your crowd or pick an evening to call everyone and confirm attendance.

    #2 sounds cute
    577906 10151197172303105 844768324 n Follow Me on Pinterest www.shoplovelivelearn.blogspot.com Anniversary
  • In Response to Re: No RSVPs & Open Seating:
    [QUOTE]I feel you regarding the other boards... #1 interesting, but i do see both sides. does your venue ask for a final count? I would only think about or have her think about what if 15 extra people come and the cater only makes 5 extra plates than what you told them? I would check with them to see how many extra plates they make. Would this include no rsvps for plus ones as well? And are you and your FI ok with not knowing who might come to your wedding/ reception. No safety concerns? Above all else, maybe these questions will help guide this convo. #2 I am doing this, the open seating. Just went to a big vow renewal and hated assigned seating. My family was on the other side of the room and since we had not seen each other in a long while, we kept getting up the whole night! Plus seating planning would stress me out. So I understand. I am not sure about the sign tho. It may be a waste of paper and printing, esp if you plan to have menu cards. I would just go without them. We did and it was not a big issue. I hope this helps.
    Posted by keyaira04[/QUOTE]

    1. The venue didn’t really request a head count. They just told us the max people that could fit in the space comfortably and because of that we sent out 100 less invites than the max (if that makes sense). Well, as far as the food, we’re having buffet style so there will be no specific plates made and my mom has told them that we’d most likely be paying for extra food to be made. We’re okay with anyone coming, for the most part we trust our guests. Now, there are a couple of people that are definitely not invited for personal reasons and we hope they have good enough sense not to show up. The venue is supplying us with security free of charge so we figured if unwanted people appear, we can just have them escorted off and banned from the premises. 2. Lol That’s why I didn’t want to assign seats. To be honest, I don’t know who my guests want to sit with and who they don’t, and it’s just too much of a hassle to try to figure out. Well, since I don’t plan to have menu cards and are doing a buffet, does your answer change about the “seat reservation” cards? I’m still on the fence but now I’m leaning more towards no because I figure guests will be more busy with enjoying the night versus a little card.  Thank you for replying btw.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • In Response to Re: No RSVPs & Open Seating:
    [QUOTE]Just a couple of questions to put things in perspective: -Does your venue need a count before your wedding date? Does the person catering need a count?   If so, how do you foresee doing this without RSVPs.  -How do you know how many tables you will need? Personally, I think it's tedious to do RSVP's and seating charts but in the end if you would like an organized event that is a little stress free then you want to do the busy work. 
    Posted by rowenac82[/QUOTE]

    -The venue didn't request a head count. They just gave us the max # of people that can fit in the space. The caterers are doing buffet style and we told them an approximate amount of guests (which is more than the invites that we sent out).
    -Well, the table issue has been brought up to the decorater (who is also managing  the caterers btw--it's a full service company) and she gave us some suggestions because she has had experience with open seating and all that.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • No problem, that's what we do, reply and figure it all out :) #2 My motto for the last two days has been This is our wedding, we will do it the way we want. And sounds like you really want those cards, so do it! Your guest may see value in this than ours, so do what's best for you.
    Daisypath Wedding tickers LilySlim Fitness goals tickers
  • In Response to Re: No RSVPs & Open Seating:
    [QUOTE]No problem, that's what we do, reply and figure it all out :) #2 My motto for the last two days has been This is our wedding, we will do it the way we want. And sounds like you really want those cards, so do it! Your guest may see value in this than ours, so do what's best for you.
    Posted by keyaira04[/QUOTE]

    Thank you. You have been very helpful. I think I'm fine now with our no rsvp method---it's not the average, traditional route but hey, we're not really a traditional couple. Well, I guess if I can fit the cards into my schedule & budget then that's the route I will go. I'm sure someone will use it.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • In Response to Re: No RSVPs & Open Seating:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: No RSVPs & Open Seating : -The venue didn't request a head count. They just gave us the max # of people that can fit in the space. The caterers are doing buffet style and we told them an approximate amount of guests (which is more than the invites that we sent out). -Well, the table issue has been brought up to the decorater (who is also managing  the caterers btw--it's a full service company) and she gave us some suggestions because she has had experience with open seating and all that.
    Posted by bsims726[/QUOTE]


    Sounds like you have it all covered. So if this is the route you wanna take, go for it! I am a control freak so it "not knowing" wouldn't work for me
    Anniversary
  • I am having RSVP's because we are paying by the head, but I totally agree with you on the open seating. N.O is not really big on assigned seating and plated dinners because no one really sits in their assigned seat anyway. Besides,  I can just picture a guest moving a place card to another table so that they can sit next to who they want to... DISASTER. I say save yourself the headache... let them sit where they want.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • In Response to No RSVPs & Open Seating:
    [QUOTE]Ok, this is 2 part question. I've been trying to look up advice on this but no real luck. I would've put this on another board like "Etiquette" but the other brides can be pretty nasty with their answers. 1.) So I don't have like a professional wedding planner, it's basically me and my mom. So I've been browsing invites and the topic of rsvp options for the reception popped up. I asked her how guests should rsvp (reply cards, phone, online, etc). She said that she wasn't expecting us to do rsvps. Now I've only been to a couple of weddings and a formal dinner (versuses her many invites to the same). In our circle of family & friends it's not really common to rsvp but I'm just nervous that we'd regret it if we didn't. She's also a major financial contributer so she said that she's prepared to pay for extra food, drinks, tables, etc. So, should I push the topic or leave it alone? Is having a rsvp list necessary? Opinions, ladies, please? 2.) At the reception, we're also planning to have open seating (no reserved tables or seats). Seating charts are another thing that is not common for my group, and to be honest, I don't really want to deal with organizing one. From experience, I've not had much issues with open seating except for that I may not bring something (coat, purse, etc.) or have someone around to save my seat but I'm usually lucky to find another seat. I can't remember where but I stumbled across an idea a bride had where she was having open seating at her reception but was supplying each guest with a card that they could place on their seat while their up dancing, getting food, etc. and others will know that the seat is taken. I was thinking of doing this and putting a saying on the card like "Please, be neat and not take my seat." (Sorry, it's random and corny but it's just a rough thought). I just don't want it to be a waste if people don't use them. As a guest, what would you think of this? Thanks in advance for any helpful answers or opinions.
    Posted by bsims726[/QUOTE]

    1. If your venue requires a final head count, then I would say yes the RSVP would be a necessity. You wouldn't want to invite 300 and assume all 300 come and then you end up with 200 and could have saved you $50+/person ($5K).

    2. Open seating is fine, but that's only if you truly know your numbers. Say for instance you low ball your figure and have more people show that you anticipated, then you are short on seats. I have a friend who helped with a wedding 2 weeks ago and she said that they only had seating for 125 and it was way more people who showed up (2 hours late some of them) and asking if the ceremony was over and where they were going to sit. SMH.
    image180 Made the cut!
    image 129 Ready to drop it like its HOT!
    image 7 Found something else to do
    image 44 Are just plain RUDE!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker image

    Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools

    Follow Me on Pinterest November 2012 - October Siggy Challenge image
  • I am a wedding planner and would like to chime in.  I totally understand.  My suggestion would be to create a free website on weebly.com and use the contact page as an RSVP page so you can at least have some type of headcount.  Headcount is not only for food but for table setup, centerpieces, decorations, favors etc.  Also, I can't believe that a caterer would want to know how much food they would need to prepare.  Also your cake size will be determined by headcount.

    If you don't want seating assignments, you should at least have reserved tables for family members nd the bridal party guests.

    If you would like dditionl advice you can contact my wedding planning website, www.weddings2plan.com.  I will surely give you advice at no charge.

    Good luck.

This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards