July 2012 Weddings
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Seating Charts

Ok, I know it's a little early, but I was procrastinating my homework and playing with the seating chart options on TK. My Fi and I have large immediate families. My parents are divorced, which makes things awkward.

I was wondering if seating charts are absolutely necessary, or if I should just reserve the spots for our immediate families and a few really special friends or grandparents and leave the rest up to the guests. I don't want to be rude or anything. I don't really care where aunts, uncles, cousins, friends sit as long as our immediate families have a reserved spot in the front near the head table. Is this wrong thinking?

We are inviting about 100-125 guests and will have between 10 and 14 tables with 10 chairs (depending on the guest count, etc). I want everyone to be comfortable and happy. The last thing I want is to overhear grumbling about seating arrangements on the wedding day.

What are you guys doing? Are you assigning every seat? Just a few? Reserved tables? Thanks for your input!
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Re: Seating Charts

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    I'll probably make a seating chart.  Our wedding will be around the same size as yours.  The only reason I would make one is because sometimes when you get a lot of people together, they will leave one seat between them and the next person they don't know.  So then what happens when a couple or family needs to sit together and all that's left are single seats?  I would seat people next to each other that you think would get a long/have a fun time together.  Also, are you doing buffet or plated dinners?  Seating charts would also help for plated dinners if you are serving various predetermined entrees or have vegetarians.  That way the waiters know what meal goes where.
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    I will be making one (already made a first draft).  Bobby's parents are divorced, and there are members of their families that don't get along.  Also a former step-dad of his will be there, and his current step-dad isn't too fond of him.  Also, I used TK's seating chart tool, but I have heard you shouldn't depend on it though because a lot of people have lost a lot of information that way. I made sure I backed everything up in an Excel worksheet though. 
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    We're making a seating chart and escort cards because of having a plated dinner.  It's just easier to sit people who know each other together and not be awkward sitting with people they don't know.

    I use weddingwire.com..their seating chart is a little user friendly and I always have a back-up on Excel!
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    We're doing a seating chart for most of the same reasons PP's have mentioned. 

    I especially think it's a good idea because of the gap thing in seats that Ally mentioned.

    And if you have friends who are shy and don't know many people you can seat them with people who you know would be really welcoming and outgoing.
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    Nati05Nati05 member
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    I wouldn't have arrangements for some people and not others. Either all or nothing. I think the others will feel unimportant seeing that some people were placed and they weren't, you know? I'm doing table assignments. I don't like seating people either, but I found a nice compromise with table assignments instead of seating assignments. That way you can just group together mutual friends/ family, people who know each other and then let them decide where to sit once at their assigned table. Think about it, maybe it would work for you! :)
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    We are not having a formal dinner, just light appetizers and dessert. My mom was like, "Don't tell me where to sit at a wedding!" I'll keep asking my family members and see what they think. I know there are a few tense family relationships on each of our sides of the family. I've got my work cut out for me.
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    Well if it's just appetizers and dessert that's another story.  Any way that you can have a few extra place settings so that the chair gaps don't happen?  Otherwise I think you'll be fine without seating arrangements. Or what if you did loft style with a mix of couches, chairs and high tables and chairs spread around the room?  They do that style in this wedding (you have to click through the slideshow of pictures to the reception):
    http://www.melissajill.com/portfolio.cfm?galleryID=2
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