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Author Topic: seating charts - pros and cons  (Read 18466 times)

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SingActDance

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Re: seating charts - pros and cons
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2014, 11:22:50 AM »
I think seating charts are appropriate for sit-down dinners at more formal weddings. A casual affair with a buffet? I'd say no seating chart is needed.
Most people look at musical theatre and think "Why are those people singing and dancing in the street?" I'm sort of the opposite. I see a street full of people and think, "Why aren't they?"

doodlemor

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Re: seating charts - pros and cons
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2014, 11:58:49 AM »
My vote is for a seating chart, too.  You can put a large drawing of the chart at the door if you don't want people wandering around looking for their places.  Actually, having people strolling around looking for an "unsaved" seat when there is no seating chart sounds a bit chaotic.

Several years ago we went to a huge wedding out of state, and only knew a few family members.  When we got to the reception venue we found that there were two huge rooms with most of the seats already saved by coats etc.  We had to sit with strangers in another room away from the family members who lived a 21 hour drive away from us.  It was very disappointing not to have the extra time with them.

cattlekid

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Re: seating charts - pros and cons
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2014, 12:11:04 PM »
I haven't really ever seen a "seating chart" that is set by seat.  To me, this would seem a little unnecessary in most situations.  However, I can see it being useful in DH's family.  People will often settle in at a table not knowing who else is seated at their table.  They then tend to leave odd spaces because they don't want to sit right next to the other people at the table.  Then they leave odd open seats and there is a lot of shuffling if one or two couples from a table of eight is later than the rest of the group.

I'm usually single at weddings. I hate bringing a casual date to a wedding so usually go alone. If you skip the seating chart people like me end up sitting alone which is painful. I hate hate hate weddings with no table assignments. Assign tables not seats and you let people have the most fun. I want to be with the relatives or friends I normally don't see not alone at a table.  A cousins wedding had no table assignments and grandma in teh wheelchair was left unable to see the dance floor as the only seat that was wheelchair accessible left was in the way way back behind a pillar. Grandma could have been at any of about a dozen tables closer and been able to see the introductions and dancing and toasts.
Assign tables not seats . Please

TootsNYC

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Re: seating charts - pros and cons
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2014, 12:12:35 PM »
There are ways to prevent people from being left off the chart. Just check and double check the guest list. The only reason someone shouldn't be on the chart is if they didn't RSVP and showed up anyway.

I greatly prefer seating charts. It can be frustrating to move from table to table, basically begging for a seat, only to be told that all the seats at every table are being saved.

It does take some time and thought to prepare a good seating chart. You want to put people together who will get along for the length of the ceremony and meal. (After the meal, people can get up and mingle.) You don't want to put one "new" couple with a group of old friends--they'll end up feeling left out. A mix of talkers and listeners is always good. An outgoing couple with a more introverted couple, as opposed to a table full of introverts.

So if someone doesn't RSVP (which is likely to happen since there are number of young people invited), I really don't want to cause embarrassment for them.   Now, I realize that no one should show up withaout an RSVP, and they should not that as well, but I really don't want my daughters wedding to be the time for their etiqutte lesson. 

Thoughts about this?   Do I just save some empty seats?    I'm not inviting  more than my venue can handle.  My DD refuses to invite more than 150, and then just hope only 150 show up.


Well, if they don't RSVP, you're supposed to call them to make sure the invitation got to them, and didn't get lost in the mail, or accidentally discarded with the junk mail.

So there really shouldn't be anyone who was invited that you haven't heard from. Because -you- make sure you hear from them.

goldilocks

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Re: seating charts - pros and cons
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2014, 12:30:55 PM »
I haven't really ever seen a "seating chart" that is set by seat.  To me, this would seem a little unnecessary in most situations.  However, I can see it being useful in DH's family.  People will often settle in at a table not knowing who else is seated at their table.  They then tend to leave odd spaces because they don't want to sit right next to the other people at the table.  Then they leave odd open seats and there is a lot of shuffling if one or two couples from a table of eight is later than the rest of the group.

I'm usually single at weddings. I hate bringing a casual date to a wedding so usually go alone. If you skip the seating chart people like me end up sitting alone which is painful. I hate hate hate weddings with no table assignments. Assign tables not seats and you let people have the most fun. I want to be with the relatives or friends I normally don't see not alone at a table.  A cousins wedding had no table assignments and grandma in teh wheelchair was left unable to see the dance floor as the only seat that was wheelchair accessible left was in the way way back behind a pillar. Grandma could have been at any of about a dozen tables closer and been able to see the introductions and dancing and toasts.
Assign tables not seats . Please

Yes - the last wedding I went to "named" the tables and you were assigned to a table and not a seat.   I believe all the tables were named after local landmarks.

TootsNYC

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Re: seating charts - pros and cons
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2014, 12:34:47 PM »
I haven't really ever seen a "seating chart" that is set by seat.  To me, this would seem a little unnecessary in most situations.  However, I can see it being useful in DH's family.  People will often settle in at a table not knowing who else is seated at their table.  They then tend to leave odd spaces because they don't want to sit right next to the other people at the table.  Then they leave odd open seats and there is a lot of shuffling if one or two couples from a table of eight is later than the rest of the group.

I've also only really seen tables (once, it was by person; when there was only 1 big table, and a lot of attention had been paid to the arrangement).

And if people are leaving odd open seats, singles, when they arrive at their table, they're screwing up. at all the events I've been to, we leave pairs of seats together, since couples arrive in pairs. That's the responsibility of the guests, and the people who have to shuffle around are getting what they deserve. (Not that gracious for the couple arriving last, but it's not the host's problem.

Surianne

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Re: seating charts - pros and cons
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2014, 01:09:59 PM »
As a guest I prefer no seating chart. 

I usually attend weddings single, and with seating charts I'm often stuck at a table full of couples -- sometimes they can be nice, but often they're too into the romantic evening to even bother with introductions, so I'm stuck staring into space for the dinner portion of the reception.  Without a seating chart, I can either sit with friends I know, or sit with new people who seem friendly and willing to include me. 

I've always enjoyed weddings when I've been able to seat myself, but I've been bored still at 50% of the weddings where a chart was involved.

Katana_Geldar

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Re: seating charts - pros and cons
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2014, 01:31:22 PM »
Our wedding had no seating chart. But due to space, we had to sit about 50 people at one long banquet table. I did try to do a seating chart, mainly because we had people that needed to be kept apart (my parents particularly) but with one table it would just be way too difficult. People who didn't want to sit together wouldn't sit together anyway and be buffered by friends.

DH and I had our own table, which was nice as during the meals we had some privacy, and a few times during the reception we "visited" our guests by going up and down the table. Our guests could also "visit" us by coming to our table and did move around seeing each other at the table and in the little sitting room off the balcony where the table was.

I think there were people who didn't know that many people, but it had some odd results. Like my Dad talking to some of my gamer friends and he ended up buying them all drinks. Or an American friend of ours interested in DH's sister, one of the bridesmaids, and them going down to the bar together but DH said she was interested in the French bar tender. Or my mum who very rarely got to talk to my dads mother and sisters since the divorce but had always liked them and loved the chance to see them,Moshe really liked my hens night afternoon tea as they all sat together.

I think

cattlekid

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Re: seating charts - pros and cons
« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2014, 02:14:02 PM »
In this situation, I can see where no seating chart would make your evening more enjoyable.  This is where other etiquette rules come into play also.  A wedding reception is not a romantic dinner date and the guests at the table should all introduce themselves and include everyone in the dinner conversation, not leaving anyone out.  Sometimes this is easier said than done with very large tables, but I believe that everyone should at least introduce themselves to everyone at the table and make conversation with those they can talk to without having to yell across the table.

As a guest I prefer no seating chart. 

I usually attend weddings single, and with seating charts I'm often stuck at a table full of couples -- sometimes they can be nice, but often they're too into the romantic evening to even bother with introductions, so I'm stuck staring into space for the dinner portion of the reception.  Without a seating chart, I can either sit with friends I know, or sit with new people who seem friendly and willing to include me. 

I've always enjoyed weddings when I've been able to seat myself, but I've been bored still at 50% of the weddings where a chart was involved.

Dindrane

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Re: seating charts - pros and cons
« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2014, 02:27:01 PM »
Plus, part of the purpose of assigning tables is so that the hosts can make sure everyone is seated with other people they either know or will enjoy talking to. If the hosts don't do that, the issue is with their use of assigned seating, not with assigned seating in and of itself.

It's very challenging to come up with a plan that uses the space effectively and puts everyone in a reasonably good spot, but it is possible. And honestly, if I (as the host) know that I'm going to be putting someone at a table full of friendly people they don't actually know, I'd ask at least one of those friendly people to make sure to be as inclusive of that guest as possible. And I'd try to mention things the guest and that friendly person might have in common prior to the event (or at the event), so they have something to talk about. It's the same kind of thing a good host would do at a dinner party in a similar situation, it's just that at a wedding the host can only sit at one table.


camlan

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Re: seating charts - pros and cons
« Reply #25 on: November 17, 2014, 02:28:27 PM »
In this situation, I can see where no seating chart would make your evening more enjoyable.  This is where other etiquette rules come into play also.  A wedding reception is not a romantic dinner date and the guests at the table should all introduce themselves and include everyone in the dinner conversation, not leaving anyone out.  Sometimes this is easier said than done with very large tables, but I believe that everyone should at least introduce themselves to everyone at the table and make conversation with those they can talk to without having to yell across the table.

As a guest I prefer no seating chart. 

I usually attend weddings single, and with seating charts I'm often stuck at a table full of couples -- sometimes they can be nice, but often they're too into the romantic evening to even bother with introductions, so I'm stuck staring into space for the dinner portion of the reception.  Without a seating chart, I can either sit with friends I know, or sit with new people who seem friendly and willing to include me. 

I've always enjoyed weddings when I've been able to seat myself, but I've been bored still at 50% of the weddings where a chart was involved.

And this was a huge error on the part of the hosts. Single people should not be seated differently from couples. If you'd put a couple with friends at a table, then you put a single person with friends at a table. Part of a host's responsibility is to try to seat compatible people together.

Sticking a single person at a table just because there is an empty space there is a failure of good hosting.

Although once, when I was a groomsman's date, I was seated at a table that was full of other singles. That was kind of fun, because none of us had a date/SO to talk to, so there was a lot of general conversation all around the table. We had a very enjoyable time.

But we were all willing to talk to each other. Cattlekid is correct--guests also have a responsibility as good guests to talk to the people they are seated with. Horribly rude to ignore someone sitting right next to you, or even across the table.

Really just basic manners, but people seem to be forgetting this more and more.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Surianne

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Re: seating charts - pros and cons
« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2014, 03:11:11 PM »
For sure, I agree with all your points -- just saying that my own personal preference is no seating chart, *because* the hosts or other guests haven't made my evening very enjoyable at times when there hasn't been a seating chart.

The last wedding I went to was quite casual with no seating chart, so I made a point of gathering two other women who I'd met earlier in the day (they'd looked lost and alone) and we sat at a table with two couples I'm friends with, and had a blast getting to know each other. 

TootsNYC

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Re: seating charts - pros and cons
« Reply #27 on: November 17, 2014, 03:43:09 PM »
Quote
Although once, when I was a groomsman's date, I was seated at a table that was full of other singles. That was kind of fun, because none of us had a date/SO to talk to, so there was a lot of general conversation all around the table. We had a very enjoyable time.

This is why spouses/partners aren't supposed to be seated at the same table, in traditional etiquette.

But it would -never, ever- fly nowadays.

sammycat

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Re: seating charts - pros and cons
« Reply #28 on: November 17, 2014, 05:56:08 PM »
I'd never heard of a wedding not having a seating plan prior to ehell.  I love having allocated seating as it removes the awkward wandering around aimlessly looking for seats situation as previous posters have mentioned.

DH and I went to a wedding once where the only people we knew were all in the bridal party. Thanks to our friend's thoughtful seating plan we were able to sit with some lovely people we'd never have not met otherwise, and it saved us the awkwardness of trying to find 2 seats amongst complete strangers otherwise.

Jones

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Re: seating charts - pros and cons
« Reply #29 on: November 17, 2014, 06:14:48 PM »
I have never been to a reception with a seating chart. We're a buffet, punch n' cookies, somewhat casual affair area.
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