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Thoughts re: seating?

Current seating plan--family style, no actual seating plan. FI and I will sit at the head of the center table (think 5 super long family style tables, he & I in the center facing towards everyone else).

Question--should we "reserve" seating for the bridal party (and dates) or family next-ish to us or just let everyone do their own thing? I wasn't planning on having a seating plan since there will be so many friends and family that haven't seen each other in so long, I want them to chose who they want to sit with.

We both have divorced parents, so I don't want anyone to feel slighted, but if our family or bridal party wants to sit near us, I don't want to tell them no. I think I'm overthinking this.

If you were in the bridal party or immediate family, what would you want? Is a sign like this ok: http://www.etsy.com/listing/100087964/rustic-black-and-white-no-seating-plan ?

Thank you per usual!

Re: Thoughts re: seating?

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    If it suits your wedding, then I think ok.  We're not doing a seating plan either, but we aren't doing a seated dinner.  
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    If you think it will save some potential hurt feelings amongst the parents, go ahead and save some seats for them at your table. You can let the bridal party do their own thing. A simple "reserved" card at each seat will be sufficient.
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    bunni727bunni727 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    edited February 2013
    I think it depends a lot on your area. If you and your guests are used to open seating, your plan is fine. If not, you can assign everyone to a table and let them select their own seats.

    We've never been to weddings with seating plans, so we didn't worry about it. We did have a couple extra tables to account for uneven distribution.

    The sign is cute, but not neccesary. I have to say that I think it's a little silly that is says "come as you are" when, if the guests are reading it, they obviously already did.

    ETA: In addition to reserving the seats closest to you, another option would be to have your parents host their own tables, and just reserve seats for them on the same end as you.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_thoughts-re-seating?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:42a15b06-1a73-4f8f-befa-e51574169244Post:002a3214-ba11-4a1c-9c5e-e9673248c8bd">Re: Thoughts re: seating?</a>:
    [QUOTE] ETA: In addition to reserving the seats closest to you, another option would be to have your parents host their own tables, and just reserve seats for them on the same end as you.
    Posted by bunni727[/QUOTE]

    I like this idea! I'll check with them to see how they feel about it, but it definitely works out the major kinks. People are coming from all over the states, so I'm not sure what everyone's "used to". I just really really don't want to do a full on seating plan.
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    How many guests do you have? If there are too many people and not any extra seats, it might feel like a high school cafetaria. That can be really uncomfortable. However, if its laid back and you have extra seats and most guests know quite a few people, open seating can work.
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    If you have fewer than, say, 30 guests, open seating might work, but more than that and I wouldn't do it-especially if you have guests who have bad blood between them.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_thoughts-re-seating?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:42a15b06-1a73-4f8f-befa-e51574169244Post:d3653ef1-3071-41b7-93cd-c8d5b25daa15">Re: Thoughts re: seating?</a>:
    [QUOTE]If you have fewer than, say, 30 guests, open seating might work, but more than that and I wouldn't do it-especially if you have guests who have bad blood between them.
    Posted by Jen4948[/QUOTE]

    The "bad blood" is really just parents who are no longer married. It's not that they hate each other, but rather prefer not to talk to one another. We'll have approximately 125-150 people, I just assumed that there will be enough people where you can avoid others if necessary. Does that make sense?
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_thoughts-re-seating?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:42a15b06-1a73-4f8f-befa-e51574169244Post:38ba0205-dc95-414d-bf67-16ec9f138bb6">Re: Thoughts re: seating?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Thoughts re: seating? : The "bad blood" is really just parents who are no longer married. It's not that they hate each other, but rather prefer not to talk to one another. <strong>We'll have approximately 125-150 people,</strong> I just assumed that there will be enough people where you can avoid others if necessary. Does that make sense?
    Posted by Wheels987[/QUOTE]
    With that many people I would do assigned tables, personally. Then again, that's what I'm used to and what's common in my circle.
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    I think if you're going to reserve seating for some then you should reserve seating for all.  The wedding party shouldn't be treated differently.  And, I really hate open seating.  No one likes walking in, looking around, and trying to see who is the least awkward to sit with.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_thoughts-re-seating?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:42a15b06-1a73-4f8f-befa-e51574169244Post:38ba0205-dc95-414d-bf67-16ec9f138bb6">Re: Thoughts re: seating?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Thoughts re: seating? : The "bad blood" is really just parents who are no longer married. It's not that they hate each other, but rather prefer not to talk to one another. We'll have approximately 125-150 people, I just assumed that there will be enough people where you can avoid others if necessary. Does that make sense?
    Posted by Wheels987[/QUOTE]

    With that many people, including two people who don't want to talk to each other, assign tables.  Don't make that many people look around for open seats.
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    I think if it's important enough to you that you sit near the people you want to assign their seats, you should assign everyone's.  If not, as a guest I'd be worried about getting stuck with a bunch of your co-workers because the tables I wanted to be at were full.


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    To me there is nothing worse than walking around trying to find a table for myself and my parents or whoever we drove with/are closest to also attending. I would definitely do assigned seating. 
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    Table assignments--understood!
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    The fact that you only have 5 tables... You probably want to take it a step above table assignments and also assign table segments if you'll be putting more than one social circle per table.

    We had four tables that seated 30 each. With that much room, you still run a high risk of people getting split up from their parties.

    Because we had so much diversity in the list (my mom's family, my dad's, his mom's, his dad's, my mom's friends, my high school friends, our college friends, our work friends, etc), we actually assigned to the seat. I took a lot of care in deciding who the "transitional" people would be and it worked out really well.
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