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Reception Ideas

seating

Ok I was just wondering, why do people have seating arrangements at receptions? I don't understand the reasoning behind this. I am an adult, I don't want to be told where to sit, and what if I don't like the people at the table?

Re: seating

  • As an adult, I enjoy taking my time after the ceremony because I know there is a seat waiting for me at the reception.  I can grab my escort card, drop my stuff and go off to get a drink knowing full well that I've been seated with friends.  There's no stress - just more time to socialize.

    Without a seating arrangement, groups of friends have to band together, organize themselves and find a table at the time same time.  Or, you have people who don't know anyone there who walk in not having a clue where to go, which can be very uncomfortable.  You also need to have extra seating if you don't have a seating chart so that means more linens, centerpieces, etc.

    Some social circles never do seating charts.  I have only been to one wedding without a seating chart and my mother spent twenty minutes draping coats and guarding our table to ensure that my elderly grandmother could sit with all her grandchildren.  That's not cool to ask your guests to do - they should be up socializing and having fun.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited March 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_seating-7?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:cd97b3ad-8f09-4fff-aaf8-9a9a88055343Post:7b436a68-7bf9-46c8-bc04-720a6057ceb8">seating</a>:
    [QUOTE]Ok I was just wondering, why do people have seating arrangements at receptions? I don't understand the reasoning behind this. I am an adult, I don't want to be told where to sit, and what if I don't like the people at the table?
    Posted by TT Bride 13[/QUOTE]

    Seating arrangements are part of good hosting because they indicate that the hosts have taken time to prepare for their guests' needs.

    A good host/ess will see to it that everyone has a place to sit and that people are not "reserving" seats at their tables so that other guests have to hunt around for a place to sit and put down their things while the "reserved" guests mingle. 

    They will also make sure that people with bad blood between them are not seated together, and really good hosts will take some time to figure out who among their guests are compatible, so, for instance, a single guest isn't forced to sit at a table of all couples who ignore him/her, one teenager isn't forced to sit with small children, etc.

    But it's not about "telling you what to do" or "treating you not like an adult." You are allowed to get up and go to another table to visit.  You are not required to stay seated the entire time.  You can even offer to trade seats with someone.
  • the people who plan the seating arrange it so that people who like each other are put together. how is that not assumed? but frankly with your attitude about it I'd totally sit you with someone you despise :)

    the point is so it's not a PITA or race to get to a seat.  in my area it's not common to have open seating. tables are assigned, not specific seats. i've been to one reception where the tables were not assigned. it was in rural MO, some people wore jeans (while our part of the family wore gowns), and it was a total clusterfu<k.

     

  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I have never been to a weding without a seating assignment. And by seating assignment I mean you are assigned a table and not necessarily a specific seat.

    When I put together my seating chart, I took great care in making sure that people sat with friends, family or other fun people. I put the party people by the dance floor and the old crowd away from the speakers so it wouldnt be so noisy.

    If you dont have a seating chart, plan on adding at least 15% extra seating. As your tables wont fill up perfectly. Then you have to pay for extra tables, linens, center pieces, etc.

    Plus, it is nice to not have to worry about how you are going to sit with. Itis part of being hosted. It makes your wedding reception less like the  middle school lunch room, where everyone is yelling "Save me a seat!"
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • In my case, I'm doing open seating, but that is because there will be only 40 people at my wedding.  Everyone knows each other really well and gets along, and we're renting out the private dining room of a restaurant.  If I were doing a larger wedding, I'd definitely assign tables.  This way, families wouldn't be split up (I would hate for my brother, his wife, and their three kids to have to sit separately because the open seating arrangement made it impossible for five seats to be open at one table) and people would be sitting with other guests whose company they would enjoy.
  • Often, it is the venue's requirement as well. That's the case for us. We're expecting ~200 guests, and the catering coordinator doesn't allow open seating, or even assigned tables w/o seats. I trust him when he says it will make getting everyone the meal they requested 1000X easier. It's DEFINITELY more of a pain on my end, and I'm sure no matter how hard I try I'm not going to make the seating charts "perfect," but I'd still prefer that than having people waiting more time for food because they don't know who's eating what, especially when allergies need to be taken into consideration.

    Not to mention, I was at a wedding last week with completely open seating. Because we didn't realize this right away, the group I was with was forced to find "extra" seating in a completely different room down a flight of stairs and completely away from the rest of the reception. Granted, they allowed us to the buffet first and this isn't the case in most venues, but overall I felt less included in everything during dinner.
  • edited March 2013
    I could see open seating maybe if you have a small wedding like 50 or so, but as PP's said, assigned seating is just easiest and best for your guests. It lessens the headache of trying to scour the room, find where your friends/family are located or texting them "hey where are you seated?". It just makes it stress-free if you get up to go to the bathroom or get a drink, to know that your seat will still be available when you return.

    Chances are the B & G had you in mind when they did the seating chart and took into consideration who you are and are not friends with. It's really not a big deal.

    If you don't love your tablemates, move your seat. If you dance or choose to mingle, then you are really only sitting with them a small percentage of the time anyway.. like during dinner and cake cutting and speeches.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_seating-7?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:5Discussion:cd97b3ad-8f09-4fff-aaf8-9a9a88055343Post:88034f57-bfe8-442a-994d-7ec84af8c363">Re: seating</a>:
    [QUOTE]the people who plan the seating arrange it so that people who like each other are put together. how is that not assumed? but frankly with your attitude about it I'd totally sit you with someone you despise :) the point is so it's not a PITA or race to get to a seat.  in my area it's not common to have open seating. tables are assigned, not specific seats. i've been to one reception where the tables were not assigned. it was in rural MO, some people wore jeans (while our part of the family wore gowns), and it was a total clusterfu<k.
    Posted by alithebride[/QUOTE]

    I don't have an attitude about it. I simply did not understand the concept but thanks to the other ladies I now do.
  • Gotcha. Thank you all for clearing that up. I apprecitae it!!
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