Sarah
Devoted April 2022

Where to seat guests only we know?

Sarah, on October 30, 2019 at 3:12 PM Posted in Wedding Reception 0 7
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Background: my partner and I met in college. We were both English majors, and we both developed a really close bond to one of the professors in our department. She was always supportive of our relationship, we spent time with her outside of class (going out to dinner, etc.), she wrote my recommendation letter for graduate school, and I'm planning to acknowledge her in my thesis. She's always been a source of support and inspiration for us, and we both have an almost familial relationship with her--she's less of a past professor and more of an aunt to us at this point.


Issue: Obviously, we would love to invite her--she's like family to us. I'm playing with the seating chart, however, and can't figure out where to put her. I thought it would be fun to put her and her husband with other alumnae who took her courses, but we honestly don't have enough of them to fill a table and wouldn't want to stick them at a table full of 20-somethings they don't know when they're in their 60s. The other option would be to find space at one of our family tables for them; however, they don't know any of our family and I worry that they would have a hard time keeping a conversation going with them. My partner's family is typically very outgoing but not very academically inclined, and my family is typically very academically inclined but also very reserved (to the point of seeming standoffish). Our professor is fairly outgoing, but her husband is very reserved.


Where would you all seat them if you were in this situation? I'm at a loss.

7 Comments

  • Mrs. Sarantos
    Master November 2019
    Mrs. Sarantos ·
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    I would just put them with your family, I’m sure they can have a conversation and if not, not your problem
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  • Da Mom
    August 2022
    Da Mom ·
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    If your wedding date above is correct, I honestly wouldn't worry about it now. You have over 2 years to figure it out and won't know exactly who is coming until your RSVP's come in. Perhaps over the next 2 1/2 years your professor will have met some of your friends and/or family members making it easier to know where to sit her.

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  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
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    I would put them with other people their age that are similar in personality, etc. so they have good conversation.

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  • B
    Super July 2018
    Brittany ·
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    I used to try to think about where to seat guests just for fun but it was truly impossible until the RSVPs came in so don't let this weigh on you too much. If it helps, a lot of our guests weren't related to us so we sat them together in whatever way they'd fit. Like we put our neighbors, my best friend's mom and her boyfriend, my God mother (my mom's best friend) and her husband, and my husband's 2 coworkers with their wives at the same table. But then we had to put a family of 4 that my husband grew up with at a table with some of his extended family because it was the only way to fit them together.

    In your case, the tables you think are "full" might not actually be full if people decline. Plus you might make friends with other people (maybe co-workers at the jobs you get after getting your degrees) before your wedding that you know your professor would fit right in with. So don't worry, there will be a good place to sit her by the time your wedding rolls around

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  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
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    Well for starters, I’d hold off on the seating chart until you have rsvps back and actually know who is coming for sure— this may sort itself out relatively easily on its own, and it’s really hard to preplan without knowing who will be there, so it’s not worth stressing over in advance (maybe they don’t come , maybe just the right number of 20 somethings come that they fit in best there, maybe there are a couple groups that naturally sort into tables with 2 extra seats and you look at those groups and one makes perfect sense to accommodate them and the other doesnt). Also, try not to overthink this— you don’t need to plan a whole evening’s worth of talking points and don’t need to avoid seating 2 people who may possibly disagree on a few things or not like a few of the same things. The best advice I can give is try to put people with others they have *something* in common with, even if it’s just one small thing, and even if it’s not everyone at the table. Maybe they hit it off and get to that conversation and maybe they don’t and end up mostly keeping to themselves aside from some pleasantries, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still have a great time!

    we had one couple we had to put a random table (they actually *did* know others at the wedding, but there rsvp situation [a last minute no-turned-yes!] left them needing to sit elsewhere. It just so happened there was exactly one table theyd easily fit at, or we could try to do some rearranging. So I looked at the table to see if it might work, and found myself some common ground— one of the people seated at the table was big into travel, and the odd couple basically travel professionally. So I figured there was an intro point. Traveling guy knew everyone else at the table so if the conversation happened to come up, it could get the ball rolling, but otherwise they were all nice/friendly people and I was sure they could make it through a meal together. In the end I have no idea WHAT they talked about, but they all seemed pretty happy! (And I was glad I didn’t redo my seating chart to shift them in where they would have belonged)

    So, I’d go for a simple thing in common, and personality (seating strangers with social people), and not stress it too much. Even if others at the table all know eachother. There may be some conversations they don’t follow— but heck that can happen even if they all know eachother (was at a wedding recently and everyone was reminiscing about something that was before my time with the crowd — I smiled along politely, was filled in on some back story, and all was well and good!). Also worth noting it’s rare there is a whole table-wide conversation. A bit here and there, but mostly you’re just talking to the people you’re next to , so it’s easy to strike up a side conversation on any common ground you find without alienating or being alienated by the group.

    I’m sure it will work out ! Smiley smile
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  • M
    Super September 2019
    Mrs. Bubba ·
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    With family members.

    They will have more in common with them.
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  • M
    Super September 2019
    Mrs. Bubba ·
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    Congratulations and 🍀‼️
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