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Wedding Recap and Withdrawal

Experienced brides - seating advice

Hi! I was wondering what tips on seating/logistics experienced brides would give.

I am having a buffet reception and am terrified of a ton of empty tables towards the end of the night.

Thanks!
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Re: Experienced brides - seating advice

  • I also had a buffet reception and I still assigned tables.  It's not necessary to assign seats, but do assign tables to avoid problems!  I used escort cards that I made on my computer.
  • Did everyone eat at once? I wasn't planning on having seating for everyone (typical New Orleans style), so I was wondering if there were waves of people eating
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  • Ditto pp. We did not have buffet style at our reception, but we did place cards which assigned the table number and they were also used for the meal selection. However, I have also seen buffet style receptions also have assigned tables. And yes, you do need to accomodate each guest regardless if people will not be eating all at the same time (I know what you mean) bc they will be getting their food, getting seconds, etc.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-recap-withdrawal_experienced-brides-seating-advice?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:12Discussion:fa7d3885-d4e6-46f3-b28a-d2fd030d7257Post:767c320c-fcea-449b-b39d-7eff88994b3a">Re: Experienced brides - seating advice</a>:
    [QUOTE]Did everyone eat at once? I wasn't planning on having seating for everyone (typical New Orleans style), so I was wondering if there were waves of people eating
    Posted by hollybee92[/QUOTE]

    Like PPs said, you really should have a seat for every guest in attendance.
  • If you are not going to provide seating for every guest then at least have High tables they can stand around. Curiosity? why aren't you having seats for everyone? Did you over invite? If so....you may run out of food. That would be a real tragedy.
  • My wedding was almost 50 people.  It was a formally seated buffet; place cards designated each seat.   Because our group was so small it was fun.  Everyone ate at the same time -- initially but, they went back and forth for seconds and thirds!

    With a small guest list, I knew how people would click and I knew which strangers needed to meet like-minded strangers.  And I knew who would stay until the end and who would not.  As the crowd thinned my husband and I encouraged people to move themselves.  The night allowed our closest friends to FINALLY meet one another.

    Good luck.

  • Everyone should have a seat. Otherwise you will have people that camp out at the tables (especially older folks) and some people will never be able to get a seat.

    This is based on personal experience, and I can say that your guests will not appreciate having to stand up and eat, or sit on the floor, like I saw some other people do.

    You should also assign people to a table (not necessarily a seat), to prevent seating issues (think school cafeteria on the first day).
  • My cousin's wedding didn't have enough seats for everyone. She also expected "waves" yeah not so much.

    People will all be seated at the same time. They will want to watch your frist dance, hear toasts, and relax while seated.
  • Please Please Please do assigned tables!  If you think people will eat in waves chances are they won't.  You need to plan that everyone will eat at once.  Just like you should have planned for seating at your ceremony for 100% attendance, same idea here.

    We have a 60 person buffet and EVERYONE ate all at once.  I've been to 150+ buffett and EVERYONE ate all at once.
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  • edited September 2010
    We did a buffet later on in the evening (the ceremony didn't start until 7:30, so it was fair to assume guests had had dinner before), so I suppose there were waves of people eating at various times, but we still had to have enough seating for everyone. There are plenty of times when everyone or almost everyone was sitting, such as the speeches, first dance, bouquet toss, father daughter dance, and the occasional song that only a small group danced to. Plus, people like to have a place to 'park', somewhere they can leave their stuff as they dance and socialize.
    We didn't assign tables though; instead, we had members of the WP collect people they knew as they left the receiving line and escort them over to the reception area, show them around a bit, and help them find a seat in an area they liked/ with people they knew. It added a very personal feel to the reception. (keep in mind, we had a huge WP, so there were enough of them, between the lot of them they knew every guest, and none of them minded doing this)
  • umm well im gonna be the rebel here i guess....i did NOT assign seats or tables to my guests. I did not want to have to go through the pain and heartache of having to go through every guest and assign a table ie trying to remember who was talking to who and who would be a good fit with who. Besides that, people who RSVP'd for the wedding didnt end up showing up (which is pretty common) so there would have been gaps if i did assign seating/tables. I figured my guests were able to decide on their own where they wanted to sit and it worked out beautifully. we did have enough sitting for everyone that showed up plus some extra just incase.

    my MC went around and released tables to go to the buffet. she did random tables but went for the older people and youngest children first. It worked absolutely fine. the line never got too long and people all seemed to finish around the same time.

    if you are extremely concerned about where people will sit then assigning tables is good enough but i wasnt that worried about it.
  • I think it's funny that you are terrified of having empty tables. There are many other things to be terrified of- empty tables.... not so much. 
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