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confused about seating

I am having a wedding at Warner Pacific College in Portland.  I decided to post this on the Portland board because we all know about picnics and going out to enjoy the outdoors on the few rare days it is sunny.  I am having the wedding in a beautiful little chapel, and the reception on the lawn across the street.  I whill have a tent, 12 tables and 10 chairs at each table (120 people)...  There will also be picnic blankets so kids can eat on the ground (most of them are of the age they can eat by themselves and parents will be warned the reception is casual) or at tables.  I can even see some families taking a blanket and eating picnic style with their kids or significant other.  I want this all out in the sunshine (July 10th wedding) and don't plan on assigning seating.  I don't want people to be uncomfortable, or be forced to sit with people they don't know...but in reality, there are some people in my life that don't know any other people in my life, and none of my people know any of his people.  I want the whole thing to be casual, people to mingle, us to mingle with everyone...we are going to have lawn games out for people to play, bubbles and an area for the kids to have some space. 

Do you think it is okay in such a casual setting that I not assign seats, and also, if I don't is it okay for me not to have any extra seating, since several people probably won't be sitting at the tables anyway?  This wedding is overwhelming me already, and to add a seating chart to it is just going to add to the stress. 

We do have a backup plan for an indoor reception, in which case the tables would be different shapes, and the seating chart would be irrelivant anyway. 

Re: confused about seating

  • edited December 2011
    I wouldn't worry about it. I thought about doing assigned seating as well and decided not to for a couple reasons. One, is we are also having a casual wedding with BBQ food, I want people up mingling and don't expect them to sit where I tell them to anyway lol.
    Plus, I have grown up in Portland and have never been to a wedding with assigned seating - now that could be the group I hang out with or it could be more common in this area not to do assigned seats. I think as long as you have enough seating for everyone you will be ok - you'll want to be sure to have enough seats though b/c what if the ground is wet? It is Portland.
    Good luck! Sounds beautiful and fun!
  • edited December 2011
    Definitely ok to not assign seating. We didn't assign at our wedding last summer, and it wasn't a problem at all. Especially since you're going more casual, totally appropriate.
  • edited December 2011
    It's absolutely OK to not do assigned seating.  You may want to consider getting an extra table or two, just so people have a little room to spread out and aren't forced into taking the only vacant seat at a table of people who already know each other.  Just keep your guests comfort in mind, and it will all work out just fine!
  • edited December 2011
    I voted yes, but I have personal, evil family reasons for this.

    Personally, I think this depends on your guests that you're inviting.  If they are responsible adults that can handle finding their own seats and not fighting over who gets to sit where, then sure!  No way do you need to do a seating chart.

    If you have my family... you will need assigned seating no matter what. =/
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