Monday, March 2, 2009

Where Should I Sit?

Lots of brides wonder if they should have a seating arrangement for their reception. My answer is defiantly yes! According to a survey taken by You Gov in February 2006, 84% of people preferred to be told where to sit. The pros are endless when there is a seating arrangement.
Unassigned seating sounds great in theory and it is certainly one less chore for the bride and groom. Unfortunately it never works out so well in practice.

I can guarantee that one or more of the circumstances below will happen:
1. There may be an unseemly rush for the ‘good’ seats.
2. It will take a lot longer to get guests seated. They may still be milling around while the food is being served.
3. Your beautiful decor will be spoilt by people leaving their coats on chairs to reserve them.
4. The last few guests end up walking around looking for seats, a bit like the unpopular kid at school lunch.
5. Couples can get split up.
6. Elderly relatives may end up seated where they can’t see or hear anything.
7. If people turn up uninvited (common in some cultures) they may take seats intended for your invited guests.
8. They will think you or the facility didn't plan well.

Guests can be assigned to a table (where they can choose any seat) or assigned to a specific seat. You might want to put people next to people they know, or you might want to split them up a bit so they meet new people. But try to put each person next to at least one person they already know. People are more likely to get on well if they are similar ages or have similar interests. It might not be a good idea to put some of your stranger friends next to your 80-year-old grandmother. A little common sense goes a long way.

Generally you should try to put families together and work colleagues together. But if you know people don't get on, try seating them separately. It is worth breaking with tradition to have a stress free event. Avoid mixing age groups too much. Young children should be seated with their parents. Older children can be seated with their parents, or on a table together.
Try to avoid putting guests on the same table as ex-partners, unless you are sure this is OK. Resist the temptation to have a ‘leftovers’ table of all the people who didn’t fit on other tables. It is probably better to distribute such guests evenly.


Happy Planning


ElisabethEvans said...

I know it'll be a lot of work, but I'm certainly sold on having seating arangements, especially because we're having a plated dinner. I am looking forward to the "how to" blog next time since I'm pretty much clueless. I'm also wondering how is the best way to let guests know where to sit when they arrive - placecards at their seats, table numbers, etc. I'm sure Kelly will fill us all in. :)

futuremrsgentry said...

Question - we are only having 6 tables. Definitely going to have assigned seats - but do we still need a seating chart displayed?

Flora said...

Thanks Kelly. Jesse and I were pondering on whether or not to do seating arrangements. We are now sold! :)

Rachelle said...

I am completely sold on the idea of seating arrangements. I've actually never been to a wedding that didn't have some kind of table assignment. There are so many fun, unique ways to incorporate this into a wedding. I love the idea of naming tables after cities that are important to the couple (this is what we're planning on doing).
Although it does require a little extra leg work, it's well worth it...makes for a more organized and relaxed transition to the reception!

JennfromFolsom said...

My fiance and I are thinking of having a head table with just the two of us as our matron of honor and best man are married and there are too many other bridesmaids to have them all seated at our head table.....Kelly, do you have any smaller tables if we would like to do that?

Kim Lan said...

100% agree with Kelly!

I was planning on having the place cards w/ meal identifiers on the chargers, do you think they will blow away in August?

Thanks for the Kinko's idea. A poster at the terrace for viewing during the cocktail hour sounds perfect!

Or maybe we can just draw our own... budget running out! =)

Andy Brice said...

It would be good manners to at least add a credit and link back to the page you coped this from: