Oregon

Need POV on reception seating debate

Need some advice from fellow Oregon brides on your feelings on planning seating tables vs. open seating at your reception. My parents are not on board with our wish to plan which tables our guests sit at. Where I live, in Florida, this is super common (and same for weddings I've attended recently in Arizona & Texas), but my parents feel its forced or uncomfortable. 

FI and I think this is the best way to make guests feel considered/taken care of, plus it ensures our out of town family and friends (his family is all coming up from Texas, about 24 of them!) will be near each other and also get to mix with my family. Our reception includes a plated dinner with 185 guests, so from an organization perspective having seating ahead of time will help the servers too. We're seating the room for 190, so there's not extra room to do open seating and I don't really like the idea of planning tables for just our out of town guests and not the other 2/3 of the party. 

What is the norm in Oregon these days? Is open seating appropriate for any reception dinner (I understand the buffets, outdoor bbqs, small weddings etc)? Or should I continue to insist to plan on table seatings out of courtesy for all our guest? 


Re: Need POV on reception seating debate

  • DramaGeekDramaGeek member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    In terms of ease when you're doing a plated dinner, assigned seating would be best.  In terms of guests comfort and PITA details for yourself, open seating is best (I think).  I've only been to one Oregon wedding with assigned seats.
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_oregon_need-pov-reception-seating-argument?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:119Discussion:baee1f30-6c4a-48d7-b73b-16662a36d4c6Post:9c4cd49e-2293-4319-8af9-2355b8676bfc">Re: Need POV on reception seating debate</a>:
    [QUOTE]In terms of ease when you're doing a plated dinner, assigned seating would be best.  In terms of guests comfort and PITA details for yourself, open seating is best (I think).  I've only been to one Oregon wedding with assigned seats.
    Posted by DramaGeek[/QUOTE]

    Completely agree, 100%. I've never been to an Oregon wedding with assigned seats, always pick your own.
    At ours we had 2 tables "reserved" for the bridal party/family IF they wanted to sit there.
  • Poppy715Poppy715 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I think it can be rude not to seat your guests! There are so many reasons assigned seating is preferable. Guests may come late to the reception and therefore not not be able to sit at tables where they will know someone. They could have a large family who ended up being separated. Older guests could be right next to speakers. College friends could be seating with a table full of children. The list goes on and on. Of course not all these things will happen and I'm sure your guests could work out seating themselves, however that being said I think it's so much easier to just have the seating taken care of and moving past it. I also think it adds another element of the specialness of the occasion, your guests don't have to worry about finding their seats it is all taken care of for them. 
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  • edited December 2011
    I've gone to a few Oregon weddings.  Some were assigned, some were not.

    Last summer I went to a wedding where the only person I knew was my fiance.  It was a high school friend of his and we travelled to Wallowa County for the wedding. It was open seating, and I found myself really uncomfortable when my fiance took off to help with something and told me to go ahead and find somewhere to sit.  Not only was I forced to sit with people I didn't know, but then I felt incredibly rude holding a chair for my fiance. :/

    Granted, I'm horribly shy and really uncomfortable in most large social situations, but it is something to take into account.

    We're doing planned seating at our wedding.  Table assignments and not seat assignments.  I want to make sure that people who brought a date will be seated with their date.  That my family and his family are seated near each other and that friends who are coming out of town can be near friends they might already know.

    tl:dr - I like assigned seating.
    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. - Dr. Seuss
  • PDXPDX
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Most of the OR weddings I've been to have assigned tables. I prefer it that way because I find it is very uncomfortable to have to fight for a seat. I hate feeling like I have to rush in front of the older guests to make sure I snag a table for DH and I and who ever else we'd like to be with, so I don't, but then I end up w/ so and so's random cousin in the corner and the the great aunt is stuck by the DJ and can't hear anything, etc.
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  • edited December 2011

    The other thing to consider is that with open seating, you usually need an extra table or two to account for weird group numbers or people that don't want to sit with people they don't know.

    With a large guest list and plated dinners, assigned seating is by far the best option for everyone's comfort.

  • edited December 2011
    Thank you everyone for your feedback! Even though it's been split down the middle, I'm really trying to stay open minded knowing that the reception will be fine either way. I'm still leaning to assigned tables, but my parents are making me feel so guilty for even considering it, that I'm almost ready to give into the guilt trip. In 10 days, it won't matter anymore (whew!).
  • DramaGeekDramaGeek member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_oregon_need-pov-reception-seating-argument?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local Wedding BoardsForum:119Discussion:baee1f30-6c4a-48d7-b73b-16662a36d4c6Post:d2a9484f-b8c6-4a61-b406-bc7fa610d0e1">Re: Need POV on reception seating debate</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thank you everyone for your feedback! Even though it's been split down the middle, I'm really trying to stay open minded knowing that the reception will be fine either way. I'm still leaning to assigned tables, but my parents are making me feel so guilty for even considering it, that I'm almost ready to give into the guilt trip. In 10 days, it won't matter anymore (whew!).
    Posted by ltbeyer[/QUOTE]

    Tell your parents the caterer requires assigned seats to make it easier to deliver meals to the right person <img src="http://cdn.cl9.vanillaforums.com/downloaded/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-innocent.gif" border="0" alt="Innocent" title="Innocent" />
  • edited December 2011
    I'm thinking of doing open seating for my casual bbq reception, but I feel for the seated formality of your reception you would definitley be better off with assigned tables at least.
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  • ambermorleyambermorley member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I used to think that assigned seating was unnecessary. I was a reader in a wedding in Chicago this summer, and it changed my mind. Because I wasn't exactly in the wedding party, I wouldn't have seated myself with the party, but I wouldn't have known anyone else! The bride assigned seats and I was at the 2nd party table (there were 2 wedding party rounds.) I was so grateful, and I think she did a thoughtful job of putting me with people I'd like to talk with.

    As I'm planning my guest list, I've noticed there are several single friends from high school or college invited. They aren't necessarily bringing dates, but aren't necessarily connected to anyone else invited anymore. I have mentally noted that Claire from high school would probably really get along with Andrew from college, who are both single. I would assign them to the same table because I think they'd get along, but wouldn't meet otherwise.

    I agree with DramaGeek that just saying the caterer requires it for plated dinners is a good route. That way you can deflect blame. It seems logical that the people serving would need to know where to take certain meals.


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  • Megz63426Megz63426 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I'm doing assigned seating, but I'm having a SMALL wedding so it's best..  However if you're having a formal plated dinner then do first come first seated and reserve the special tables ie. bridal party and mom and dad :)
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