Some folks may recall the firestorm of criticism I got a couple weeks ago for mentioning that we were not providing seating for 100% of the guests. I wanted to follow up so that other brides considering this style for their own receptions could hear firsthand from someone other than the well-meaning, enthusiastic but in my case entirely incorrect harbingers of doom on this topic.
My wedding was two weeks ago. We had 125 guests, and a cocktail-style stations reception.
I'm beyond happy to report that our reception was fantastic. We did not
have a massive exodus of guests leaving because they had no assigned seat. Everyone had a wonderful time, people mingled and ate, talked and danced, nobody left early that wouldn't have been planning to leave early regardless of seating (there are always people who leave after the cake is cut), and we didn't have a sea of empty tables once the ceremonial stuff was over and the party began.
Not only did most of the older folks stay to the very end, but my four guests who are expectant mothers were also there until the end.
As my venue coordinator assured me it would, providing tables & chairs for about 65% of the guests, plus scattered elbow-height cocktail tables, upholstered chairs and other seating worked out perfectly.
Because it isn't the norm, we did take great care to explain the reception style in the invitation insert, on our wedding website, and in the program, and there was no confusion or jockeying for table space. It all just went smoothly.
To the folks who were not horribly rude to me -- thanks again! And good luck to everyone still planning!