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Massachusetts-Boston

Seating Opinions Needed! (poll 1)

Our reception is at a restaurant & originally FI & I didn't want assigned seating bc we figured if the tables are in 4s, people can just sit with whoever they want.  Well, when we met with the site they said they wanted to do the tables in 6s &/or 8s to make serving easier.  Sooooo, now we are debating what to do about seating. 
FI wants us to NOT have any kind of assigned seating & just let people fend for themselves, with the exception of a few "reserved" tables for us & our families.  My argument is that because we're doing the trolley tour ahead of time and most of our family members (inclu aunts/uncles/cousins) will be on the last trolley with us (which arrives 15-30min after everyone else), if we DON'T assign seating, they will be left with the bad seats in the back OR we'll have to reserve like 1/3-1/2 of the total seats--which I feel like if you are going that far, why not just assign all the seats?
Any suggestions/opinions for us?  Please share what you'd prefer as a guest & if there's a reason WHY that we're not thinking of! 

Yay! Finally able to update my signature :)
by Shannon Sorensen Photography
My hubby & I rock the frock.
Bio
6.12.2010

Re: Seating Opinions Needed! (poll 1)

  • edited December 2011
    My two cents: as a bride, I'd want to assign seats so that my family and friends were taken care of. I'd feel terrible if my H's crazy aunt Edna ended up next to my shy co-worker Alice. I usually can't stand assigned seats at events but I think weddings are the exception to the rule.

    Seating charts and the whole process is a total PIA but in the end, I think necessary. GL with what ever you decide :)

    EDIT: I just re-read your post...I was talking assigned tables...not seats :)
  • edited December 2011
    Sorry, I can't see the poll, but I would do assigned tables. The thing is, every seat has to be filled. People will cluster naturally, but it's very unlikely that they will break down exactly the way the tables do.

    I was just at a sit down engagement party without assigned seats. Of course, it ended up with some tables having extra seats, while other people were pulling up chairs to squeeze it at another table because they wanted to sit together. It's awkward no matter what.

    If you have plenty of extra seats and room for empty seats at some tables, it wouldn't be as big of a deal, but I'd still do it anyway. That's my 2 cents.
  • edited December 2011
    I would just put reserved signs on the tables for your fam and then tell them to go to a reserved table when they get there
  • edited December 2011
    I would def go with assigned tables, especially if your family will be arriving later than everyone else. My sister went to a wedding at the Hawthorne that didn't have assigned tables and she said it created complete chaos. People were scooting up to other tables which left odd numbers of seats at some tables. They ended up having to put an extra table in the middle of the dance floor to accomodate everyone.

    If you choose not to do it that way, make sure the people who would be sitting at reserved tables know they're at the reserved tables. At the same wedding I mentioned above, my sister said crazy Aunt Mary sat at one of the reserved family tables because she's family and she assumed she belonged at one of those tables. That could make things pretty awkward.
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  • jkeprosjkepros member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Oh, definitely good point to make sure that the people who are at the reserved tables know who they are (and aren't!)

    I definitely am leaning toward the table assignments, but have to convince FI that it's the best way to go.
    Yay! Finally able to update my signature :)
    by Shannon Sorensen Photography
    My hubby & I rock the frock.
    Bio
    6.12.2010
  • edited December 2011
    personally i like assigned tables (as both a bride or a guest).  i am really type a and as a guest i get really stressed out if i don't know where i'm going to sit and the whole time before i can sit, i'll just be stressing to make sure i'll be able to get a spot with all of the people that i want to.  as a bride, i really like order and i like to make sure that things flow well.  i wanted to make sure that there was as little confusion as possible on that day.

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  • njlfrednjlfred member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I may be biased, because the only weddding I ever attended without assigned seating was a disaster - there was not enough seating for people.  That being said, I would definitely assign seating (meaning tables, not chairs at tables).  As a guest, I'd want to know that the bride/groom was ok with where I am sitting rather than agonizing over which table they'd want me to pick.  Also, if not all the guests are arriving at the same time as you state, I think it's the courteous thing to do for the guests that will arrive later. 
  • jkeprosjkepros member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Thanks, everyone!!!  It really helps to get other opinions from both the bride and guest point of view.  :)  It looks like table assignments it is!  FI will just have to deal.  ;)
    Yay! Finally able to update my signature :)
    by Shannon Sorensen Photography
    My hubby & I rock the frock.
    Bio
    6.12.2010
  • noodle_oonoodle_oo member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Just to add to everyone:  as a guest I HATE unassigned seating.  I also get wicked nervous about ending up sitting with strangers.  It makes me *raelly* uncomfortable (kind of like that always picked last in gym class kind of feeling?).  Assigned seats aren't necessary but definitely assign tables.

    Oh and my friends sister did unassigned seating and it was also a disaster.
  • edited December 2011
    One more for assigned tables. I went to a wedding where the guests chose where they sat... which was ok except that I wanted to sit with my sisters, but we couldn't find a table together. NBD, that might have happened if the bride assigned us  to different tables.

    But the problem came when FI and I couldn't find two seats together. We were literally down to two tables with one seat each, one with my aunt, uncle, cousins, and their dates (who FI didn't know too well) and the other was at a table where I didn't know a single person. So, yeah, we moved a chair. I felt bad, but I think that kind of situation is unavoidable when you give a whole crowd the responsibility of sorting themselves out.
  • edited December 2011

    Vote defintelay goes to assigning tables.  at the venue where we had our first daughter's wedding, we wanted the stations option for the meal.  For some reason, if you choose stations, they do not allow assigned seating/tables.  We loved the venue, so we opted for plated dinners instead.  Having been a guest at a wedding w/o it, it sort of felt like a free for all....  we ended up a table where everyone else knew each other and they weren't very warm & fuzzy to the "strangers".  Just my 2 cents!

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