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dinner seating arrangements?? Do I really have to?

So I really didn't want to do seating arrangements, for a few reasons, first it's a whole headache and mad dash I'd like to avoid, and second I kind of think it's pointless. I don't beleieve people should have to be told where to eat and who to sit by, but that is just my opinion. Dinner is such a small part of the reception, and I never sit in my seat very long, no matter who's reception. My question is, can people really handle no seating arrangement? The few people we have told about not having one seem to raise their eyebrows, and both our moms think it's necessary. But their is no bad blood in either side of our families, and I can't think of situation where any two people wouldn't be able to handle being next to each other. We are planning to reserve family tables close to us, but I never wanted to tell people where they had to sit all night I am pretty confident the heavens won't erupt, but anyone else not do assigned seating? Does anyone ever really miind not having one at a reception, because I am open to suggestion :)

Re: dinner seating arrangements?? Do I really have to?

  • akardiscoakardisco member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I've been to plenty that didn't have seating arrangements and I thought everything worked out just fine! I hardly noticed the difference. I honestly don't want to do one either. I feel like it is a waste of time and unneccessary money spent (place cards, seating chart, etc.). The argument for a seating arrangement that I've heard most frequently is that if there isn't one, there can end up being only one open seat at a table and couples or families end up having to split up. If you have room for extra tables though, I don't see that being a problem. I'm glad you posted this question. I'm interested to see what you ladies that have already had your big day did!
  • edited December 2011
    We are having assigned tables, but not assigned seating.  The main reason we are doing it is because all our guests will have specific food choices so it will help the servers get the right food to the correct people.  Like you mentioned earlier, they won't sit at the table the whole time so they can easily move to another table and sit and talk throughout the night.  The assigned seating is mainly just for the dinner part.  HTH! :)
  • ayoung22ayoung22 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    We did not have a seating arrangement and it worked just fine.  We did, however have reserved tables for family near the head table.  Within those, we had place cards - just to make sure the right people were sitting at a reserved table.  Also, to be honest, I've never been to a wedding with a seating arrangement.  Not sure that I would like it either...  seems like a headache.
  • jasarahjasarah member
    Knottie Warrior 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Like pp, I have never been to a reception with assigned seating - but I know I would hate it.  I think we had four tables reserved up by us - two for each side of the family.  We had no issues.  It really seems that the assigned seating is for the very formal receptions - I know they do a lot of that on the coasts.
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • edited December 2011
    We didn't do it at our wedding.  I think I've only been to 1, maybe 2 that have actually done it.  I much prefer it when you can choose to sit wherever you want and by whomever you want!  
  • HuskerfanzHuskerfanz member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I have yet to go to a wedding with assigned seating and we didn't do it and it has all worked out fine.
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    BabyFruit Ticker
    TTC #1 since 08/11 IUI#2 = BFP!
  • edited December 2011
    Oh thank God I am not the only one!! Our moms almost had me convinced (one of them already even bought the seat cards). I feel better leaving it open seating now!
  • edited December 2011
    ok, i wll be the bad one. I really prefer assigned seating. We did assigned tables for our wedding. Reasons why: 1. I hate showing up to a wedding and sitting at a table with people I don't know. 2. There are often a few odd seats left open, I prefered to have less tables. that is just my opinion.
  • edited December 2011
    I can understand having assigned seating if you are going to be having specific plated dinners. It will definitely make things easier for the staff. I've only been to one wedding where we had assigned tables. It was okay. We kind of wondered why we were where we were though because we thought we should be sitting with someone at a different table. I wouldn't like assigned specific seats because inevitably I would want to sit by someone else. So I didn't do it. I had a buffet dinner too. We reserved a certain number of tables for family, but after that it was free game. I really don't think anyone had issue. I had 180 guests, but I had chairs for 190. I was trying to account for not every table filling up. I think it worked out pretty well too.
  • daniellehaydaniellehay member
    Sixth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Ditto Lisa. Its not necessary to have a seating arrangement, but it does have its role. 1) for plated dinners, it is much easier on the staff (read, less chance for your guests' dinners to get messed up) 2)prevents empty seats and the random guest who has to sit with a bunch of people they don't know because its the only seat available (ie--late arrivals)3) allows you to have less tables at the reception (read less centerpieces, less flowers, less decoration and less setup)4) decreases the chance for the rush for your tables post ceremony. Not that you would have a stampede or anything, but for some people it can be something to worry about. 5)ensures any elderly people can be toward the front so they can hear and see everythingI've been to both open and seated arrangements and as long as the bride is conscientious, I prefer the pre-determined seating. Usually I'm with people I know AND people I don't know, so it provides a chance for mingling. You are right, people don't stay in their seats the whole time, so you shouldn't stress too much if you do decide to do an arrangement. For the reasons above, we are doing an arrangement.
  • edited December 2011
    I prefer the assigned seating for several reasons, as mentioned in pp.  No mad dash for tables/chairs, only one seat open at a table when a couple is trying to find a seat, people taking over an entire table of 8 for only 5 people, and elderly being stuck next to the speakers.  We are doing assigned tables, not seats.  My fiance doesn't like it, but his mom & I agree on the tables being assigned.  But this is also just for dinner.  Once dinner is over, everyone is free to mingle & move around. 
    Lesley and Casey I dreamed of a wedding of elaborate elegance, A church filled with family and friends. I asked him what kind of a wedding he wished for, He said one that would make me his wife. ~Author Unknown
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