Author Topic: More People Than Seats...  (Read 3305 times)

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Luci

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Re: More People Than Seats...
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2014, 07:53:48 PM »
I say get the folding chairs.

I really disagree with Greencat that a padded ottoman is more comfortable than a folding chair. I grew up with hard kitchen chairs, so as long as I have a back, I'm good. Stools never count as seating for me. It sounds as if a lot of guests will be in their 40 s, so I think they need chairs.

Psychopoesie

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Re: More People Than Seats...
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2014, 09:34:32 PM »
Agree with PPs - get chairs.

Personally don't do real well sitting on the floor these days. Standing and trying to eat is awkward - especially when almost everyone else is seated. Hard to make conversation when your looming over someone and trying to balance a plate.

TootsNYC

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Re: More People Than Seats...
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2014, 01:16:43 AM »
My mom used to talk about the cocktail party she threw in her studio apt. in the city. (She had a pied a terre while she was working in the capital and Dad was back in the family home in our town. She used to go home on the weekends to smooch him up.)

Anyway, it was slightly crowded, and there were only a few chairs, and there were plenty of drinks and finger foods. And people on her guest list talked about it excitedly for a long time.

When you're a little crowded, there's a bit more energy. When you're standing, you have to move around, so you speak to more people.

So depending on what kind of party it is, you might find that the chairs completely deaden it. People might sit and be lumps.

I used to throw a big Christmas party; 26 people, usually. I had about 12 places to sit. Some of them were pillows on the floor, or padded ottomans. Those were really intended for perching--people weren't *supposed* to sit down and be comfortable.

People moved around--nobody felt comfortable taking a seat and staying in it, plus they had to get up to get food, which took a while, so they couldn't save their seats, so there was quite a bit of motion through the seats. Everybody got a chance to sit now and then, though they stood for a good bit of the party.

There were a few large TV-tray type things, w/ chairs, that people could sit at to eat the knife-and-fork food, and I found that people would sit there and eat, and then get up so someone else could sit there.

There was a lot of happy conversation, and people seemed really, really happy when they left. And they spoke longingly about those parties later.

I hate parties where everyone sits.

My ILs throw those kinds of parties (and worse, they line the chairs up around the outside of the room; my theory is that it;s  because they think having their backs to anyone is rude). They're stultifying.

Get some lively music going, and have fewer chairs than people. Make lots of the food be the kind you can pick up and eat; spread some of it around, but keep most of it centered so people have to go to get it.

lowspark

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Re: More People Than Seats...
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2014, 09:22:32 AM »
Yeah, I can see that. But I think it's a case of, what will the majority be doing? If the majority of people are standing, whether by choice or necessity, then yeah, it's better standing and the few seats will be adequate. But if the majority are sitting, then the few left standing can feel awkward.

So I think if you want to encourage everyone to stand, you would actually reduce the seating instead of augmenting it, or conversely, invite a lot more people than the available seatiing can accommodate. If you have 11 coming, it's a smaller more intimate group. If you had 20 coming, it would necessarily be more of a standing party.

And for a standing party, I would serve finger foods only. Nothing that requires a fork & knife.

Yvaine

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Re: More People Than Seats...
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2014, 09:25:29 AM »
I find myself thinking about the New Year's party I went to. There probably actually were enough seats for everybody to sit down, but they weren't all in the middle of the action, so to speak. So if your feet hurt, or you wanted to sit down to maneuver a tricky bit of food, or have a quiet conversation, you could do that, but at any given time the majority of people were standing and milling around. This also had the benefit of not having the chairs in the way of "traffic."

wolfie

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Re: More People Than Seats...
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2014, 10:00:27 AM »
I remember reading a study that said that the wisdom that said if there are less chairs people will mingle more isn't true. Sure it happens sometimes depending on the social circle but for the most part people realize that chairs are a hot commodity, know that they will not want to stand for 2+ hours so they sit and camp rather then risk losing the chair. I know I have seen that a lot more then I have seen people mingling around.

lellah

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Re: More People Than Seats...
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2014, 10:49:02 AM »
Not long ago, I went to a lovely party in a small loft.  The host lacked the space to store folding chairs and just had a love seat, so she kept a collection of giant pillows (some of which I suspect are dog beds, but no matter) in one of those bags where you can vacuum out the air.  Her parties are all Moroccan or Japanese or otherwise themed such that sitting on the floor seems natural. 

gramma dishes

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Re: More People Than Seats...
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2014, 11:02:37 AM »
The primary attendees at this event are the Mom's friends and coworkers, not the OP's.

A group of twenty or thirty somethings standing around or sitting on the floor is one thing.  People in their fifties may not be as comfortable doing that.

I think the need for seating depends both on the formality of the occasion (absolutely necessary for a sit down dinner, not necessary for just cocktails and hor d'oeuvres) and the ages and physical abilities of the attendees.

lowspark

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Re: More People Than Seats...
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2014, 11:04:17 AM »
It can be hard to predict how a party will play out. You could have ample seats and everyone still stands. Which is fine, that's their choice. I think the issue falls where people want to sit and can't.

Thus the folding chairs. If you need them, they're there. If you don't, they're not in the way.

Hmmmmm

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Re: More People Than Seats...
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2014, 11:46:20 AM »
My mom used to talk about the cocktail party she threw in her studio apt. in the city. (She had a pied a terre while she was working in the capital and Dad was back in the family home in our town. She used to go home on the weekends to smooch him up.)

Anyway, it was slightly crowded, and there were only a few chairs, and there were plenty of drinks and finger foods. And people on her guest list talked about it excitedly for a long time.

When you're a little crowded, there's a bit more energy. When you're standing, you have to move around, so you speak to more people.

So depending on what kind of party it is, you might find that the chairs completely deaden it. People might sit and be lumps.

I used to throw a big Christmas party; 26 people, usually. I had about 12 places to sit. Some of them were pillows on the floor, or padded ottomans. Those were really intended for perching--people weren't *supposed* to sit down and be comfortable.

People moved around--nobody felt comfortable taking a seat and staying in it, plus they had to get up to get food, which took a while, so they couldn't save their seats, so there was quite a bit of motion through the seats. Everybody got a chance to sit now and then, though they stood for a good bit of the party.

There were a few large TV-tray type things, w/ chairs, that people could sit at to eat the knife-and-fork food, and I found that people would sit there and eat, and then get up so someone else could sit there.

There was a lot of happy conversation, and people seemed really, really happy when they left. And they spoke longingly about those parties later.

I hate parties where everyone sits.

My ILs throw those kinds of parties (and worse, they line the chairs up around the outside of the room; my theory is that it;s  because they think having their backs to anyone is rude). They're stultifying.

Get some lively music going, and have fewer chairs than people. Make lots of the food be the kind you can pick up and eat; spread some of it around, but keep most of it centered so people have to go to get it.

Toots, I'll come to your parties. I really don't like parties where everyone claims a seat and sits there the entire time. While I agree that some people do not have the ability to stand for long periods of time and should be accommodated, I do believe that most people have the ability to stand for a half hour as they circulate among guests, maybe sit for a few minutes and then circulate more. And I'm perfectly happy perching on a chair arm for a while or sitting on a fireplace hearth.

And my in-laws do the same thing with putting a ton of chairs in their large family room in a circle against every wall. At the last one, I counted 24 people sitting around in a circle.

Winterlight

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Re: More People Than Seats...
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2014, 11:46:30 AM »
I'm a big believer in having enough chairs. Not everyone wants to sit on the floor, and standing for the length of a 2-3 hour party is no fun.
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: More People Than Seats...
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2014, 11:50:36 AM »
The primary attendees at this event are the Mom's friends and coworkers, not the OP's.

A group of twenty or thirty somethings standing around or sitting on the floor is one thing.  People in their fifties may not be as comfortable doing that.

I think the need for seating depends both on the formality of the occasion (absolutely necessary for a sit down dinner, not necessary for just cocktails and hor d'oeuvres) and the ages and physical abilities of the attendees.

I agree; a party in my 20's, I didn't worry if there were enough seats for everyone.  Now, in my 40's?  I would make sure there was at least somewhere for all the adults to sit, with the intention that kids would hit the floor, if necessary.
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Ontario

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Re: More People Than Seats...
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2014, 01:42:00 PM »
I'm a big believer in having enough chairs. Not everyone wants to sit on the floor, and standing for the length of a 2-3 hour party is no fun.

But this is what I don't understand. If people are circulating, they'll stand for a while, sit for a while, stand for a while. If there is a seat for everyone, everyone plops down in "their" seat and seldom move.

jaxsue

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Re: More People Than Seats...
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2014, 02:26:41 PM »
The primary attendees at this event are the Mom's friends and coworkers, not the OP's.

A group of twenty or thirty somethings standing around or sitting on the floor is one thing.  People in their fifties may not be as comfortable doing that.

I think the need for seating depends both on the formality of the occasion (absolutely necessary for a sit down dinner, not necessary for just cocktails and hor d'oeuvres) and the ages and physical abilities of the attendees.

I'm 52 and I often end up sitting on the floor with the 20-somethings. I guess I don't feel my age yet!  :D

Back to the original question: when there's food involved, and a certain amount of time will be spent at the party, I do think that there should be adequate seating for everyone. I recall my X-FIL's wedding; there were enough chairs for about 1/2 of the guests at the reception, which was odd considering it was at a church annex with plenty of space. As a result, it wasn't easy eating while standing.

jaxsue

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Re: More People Than Seats...
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2014, 02:29:06 PM »
I'm a big believer in having enough chairs. Not everyone wants to sit on the floor, and standing for the length of a 2-3 hour party is no fun.

But this is what I don't understand. If people are circulating, they'll stand for a while, sit for a while, stand for a while. If there is a seat for everyone, everyone plops down in "their" seat and seldom move.

IME it's often been the opposite: when seating is at a premium, people tend to plant themselves in a chair, not wanting to lose it. When there is plenty of seating, people feel comfortable getting up and moving around, knowing that there will be a chair when they want one.