Anyone thinking of no assigned seats at the reception? I thought it was a great idea to just had a sign that says “assigned seats are not our style sit anywhere that makes you smile” but several family members are less than thrilled with the idea.
Assigned seating, even at least tables, makes it easier on every one. It can be hard to find seats when it’s a free for all and you’ll wind up needing more seating to make up for this. I assigned tables and let our guests choose their seats. It worked fine and it wasn’t some huge super time consuming task.
It probably depends on the formality of your event. If it is a seated dinner, assigned seats aren’t necessary, but assigned tables are highly recommended. People won’t seat themselves efficiently, couples/families might get broken up among tables, you’ll need extra tables because not all tables will be full, etc.
No assigned seating works great for cake and punch in a church multipurpose room only. But anytime guests will be sitting to eat a meal, you need assigned tables. Grandma saves a whole table she won't give up expecting certain people to sit with her who don't come by at all. Families and couples always get split up. People who don't get along are forced to sit together. It's like being transported back to the school cafeteria trying to find an open seat and the embarrassment associated with that. If there is a plated meal, the waitstaff won't have the first clue who gets what meal. It's easier to assign tables for everyone. They can always get up and go elsewhere as soon as they are done eating.
It’s always a good idea to at least assign tables. When you don’t, family units end up getting split up, people end up at tables with strangers, etc. And it can cause stress for guests who may not know anyone else at the wedding to have to seat themselves with strangers. Ive heard it compared to having to finding a seat in the lunch room as a child, when there’s no room at the table with all your friends. It leads to uncomfortable and/or unpleasant experiences for your guests.
Yeah, agree with a previous poster. I’ve been to two weddings without assigned seats. Due to those experiences, I would suggest assigning seats. At one wedding, as she mentioned families were split up. There were other groups moving chairs to make more space at tables. It was a total mess! I was in a wedding as well with no assigned seats. They had plenty of extra tables set out so it was fine! However there were a few tables with only 2-3 guests sitting at them so it looked odd.
I am doing assigned tables for my guests and it makes it a lot to keep families together during the reception. Everything runs smoother when you have assigned table. If you are doing assigned table, try to make sure that your tables are pretty much even.
This may be OK if your reception is like 20 people or less. Otherwise it makes people anxious to walk into a big room of strangers and not know where to go. People like that guidance. It also avoids the issues of not having enough seats for someone because of odd-numbered groups. (For example, if your five college friends want to sit together, but they can't because there are no tables with five open seats. Assigning tables prevents these types of issues)
I was going to skip assigning tables too but then I went to a wedding that has a free for all. It was chaotic and guests were scrambling to find tables for whole families. Then when we put our stuff down on the individual seats and went to get food/drinks, someone had moved our stuff to sit down. Now we are assigning tables so guests know where to sit and won’t have to deal with hashing it out with other guests.
Originally this was my take on seating. A seating chart stressed me out, ppl are grown and they can seat themselves. But covid happened so now I will have a seating chart to space people out and seat ppl according to household.
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And in a way it kind of makes it cheaper because instead of having every table having a full place setting , now I can only do place settings for each seat. And chairs too. We are renting gold chairs. So instead of having extra setting & chairs, I will just have the exact number with maybe one extra table for those who dont rsvp.
I think that sign is absolutely adorable! BUT I have to agree with the person who likened it to a high school cafeteria experience. Assigning just a table # is a good compromise! Less work than full seating assignments but still a great relief to most guests. (Also, I found it really fun to mix my fiance and I's family members up who I know will love each other and have great conversations!) Unfortunately this decision was kind of made for me since I am adopted and my biological parents and adoptive parents have never met (and frankly, none of them really want to interact at all) and my biological parents haven't seen each other since before I was born 32 years ago hahahha soooo... I need them as far away from each other as possible for everyone's sanity. LOL.
I actually had the exact opposite experience of everyone else, apparently.
We did not have assigned seats or tables at our wedding.
My in-laws hate each other. MIL and FIL divorced years ago, very bitterly, and I won't go into details since this is a public forum, but suffice to say that the situation ripped the family into pieces. One GMIL hates FIL, the other hated MIL, and both GMILs hated each other, husband's siblings hate MIL and his step-siblings hate FIL, MIL and FIL hate everyone on the "opposing" side. It's a big ugly mess.
The last thing I needed the day of my wedding was for anyone to get the idea that I was insulting them with their seating arrangements - "you put MIL's table closer to you two!" "You seated [so-and-so] with FIL!" "You separated us?!?! What do you think we are, a bunch of children that can't even sit next to each other?!?!??!?!" (yes)
The easiest way to handle it was to let them seat themselves naturally so no one could take their seating arrangement as a personal attack from me.
We're doing assigned tables but not assigned seats. Tbh I feel weird even telling people where to sit, but from what I've read it sounds like having no assigned tables at best causes confusion and at worst causes couples/families to get split up. So I think assigned tables prevents that from happening but still gives the guests some freedom of choice.