So, I've always heard one of the harder parts of the wedding planning is the seating charts. However, I've always been planning to do assigned tables. I had read once (and I thought this made sense) to put the older members of the guests closer to the guest floor, so that way even if they don't want to dance, they are close to where the action is and everything is more intimate and together, and no one is seated off in a corner feeling left out.
We will be having a buffet, as a note.
My venue is very against me doing any sort of seating plan. They said it will really throw off the timing as when they are ushered from the cocktail hour area to the pavilion where the bulk of the reception will be held and for the bridal party intros, then there's this long line with people figuring out where they go, it throws of the timing, etc. They also feel that people will put stuff down on the tables beforehand and it will make the place look as nice. They said that people would already be near people they want to be around, so things just usually work out when finding seating.
I guess I'm just having a hard time understanding this. Why would they only have to find out where they are sitting when told to move to the pavilion. Could there not be cards or an easel with information next to where they enter or near the cocktail hour?
Would people not just put down stuff at a spot regardless whether they have table assignments or not if they have access to the pavilion?
Would it not just be chaotic?
We will have a large guest group - about 150. So, I feel that just a free-for-all for finding a seat and with people you want to be near could be chaotic and not-fun. And I feel like there would be a greater chance of guests who would rather be together of getting split up. Plus, slower walking guests like grandparents would be stuck with just whatever.
However, my reception venue is professional and has done many weddings. This is my first.
What have your experiences been with assigning tables or not? Any advice? If my place recommends against it, should I follow that advice?