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  • November 23, 2017, 11:25:35 AM

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Author Topic: not enough seating - is this new?  (Read 3900 times)

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HannahGrace

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Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #30 on: June 30, 2017, 07:21:23 AM »
I would not know enough to decline, since "cocktail reception" does not translate (in my mind) to "you may not have a seat."  I'm glad it works for some, but I don't find the concept appropriate for a wedding.  A cocktail fundraiser or work/industry event - sure.  But at a wedding, I'm not sure why sufficient seats cannot be placed out from the start, even if they are spread out and none are assigned to facilitate the cocktail atmosphere.  Providing a seat is not coddling guests; it's basic hosting.  Even for a backyard BBQ, if I know I don't have enough seats, I let folks know and ask them to bring their own lawn chairs if they can.

Agreed. And also, even if I knew that the "purpose of the style of fun" involved me not being able to sit down, if it's a wedding there is more social pressure to attend than a regular cocktail party / fundraiser.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #31 on: June 30, 2017, 07:39:51 AM »
Not having a seat at a wedding would be so outside the norm for me, even if the invite said cocktail reception, that I would be quite surprised to not have a seat.  And it would cause issues because I would choose my footwear based on the fact that I would be sitting for a good portion of the evening.  If I had to stand for an extended period of time in heels, I'd be in agony and would have to make my excuses and go home.

So while I wouldn't turn the invitation down, I would very much like to have the information that there might not be enough seats so that I can wear appropriate footwear that, while less fashionable, will allow me to stand for much of the evening with a minimum of pain.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
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gellchom

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Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #32 on: June 30, 2017, 07:58:32 AM »
I would not know enough to decline, since "cocktail reception" does not translate (in my mind) to "you may not have a seat."  I'm glad it works for some, but I don't find the concept appropriate for a wedding.  A cocktail fundraiser or work/industry event - sure.  But at a wedding, I'm not sure why sufficient seats cannot be placed out from the start, even if they are spread out and none are assigned to facilitate the cocktail atmosphere.  Providing a seat is not coddling guests; it's basic hosting.  Even for a backyard BBQ, if I know I don't have enough seats, I let folks know and ask them to bring their own lawn chairs if they can.

Agreed. And also, even if I knew that the "purpose of the style of fun" involved me not being able to sit down, if it's a wedding there is more social pressure to attend than a regular cocktail party / fundraiser.

It's not just a question of social pressure to attend.  For me, I want very much to be at your wedding and would be very disappointed to miss it -- much more than a regular cocktail party.  I don't want to be uncomfortable, but I don't want to miss your wedding, so I'll be there. 

It's easy to say "if they don't like XYZ type parties, they don't have to come," but I think most HCs would be disappointed and maybe even a little hurt if any of their dear ones declined their wedding just because they don't like cocktail style events. 

petpet

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Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #33 on: June 30, 2017, 10:29:08 AM »
My brother's wedding was like this and I thought it was awful. They had 200 guests and only seating for 100. The whole event was in the same space so 100 people were squished around the edges of the room to watch the ceremony.

Yvaine

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Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #34 on: June 30, 2017, 11:28:10 AM »
I would not know enough to decline, since "cocktail reception" does not translate (in my mind) to "you may not have a seat."  I'm glad it works for some, but I don't find the concept appropriate for a wedding.  A cocktail fundraiser or work/industry event - sure.  But at a wedding, I'm not sure why sufficient seats cannot be placed out from the start, even if they are spread out and none are assigned to facilitate the cocktail atmosphere.  Providing a seat is not coddling guests; it's basic hosting.  Even for a backyard BBQ, if I know I don't have enough seats, I let folks know and ask them to bring their own lawn chairs if they can.

Agreed. I've seen it work OK for, say, an art event, where the point is for people to wander around and see the art, and there isn't really space for a bunch of tables anyway, and people will come and go throughout the evening so that no individual guest is stuck there on their feet the whole night. And it's still a pain to balance all your stuff, etc., but you can just leave when you get sick of it. A wedding has more of an expectation of "come to it to support your relative/friend, even if you don't like the style of it," and more of an expectation of "stay for a long time."

goldilocks

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Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #35 on: June 30, 2017, 12:24:08 PM »
The event I attended was not a cocktail reception.   It was a buffet dinner.   

gramma dishes

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Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #36 on: June 30, 2017, 12:29:01 PM »
The event I attended was not a cocktail reception.   It was a buffet dinner.   

No excuse for not having a seat for everyone then.  That's just ridiculous!   >:(

katycoo

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Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #37 on: June 30, 2017, 08:20:15 PM »
I am very surprised at the number of people who don't associate cocktail event with specifically a non-seated event.  I mean, finger food while seated is unheard of (to me, at least).

Perhaps it is more of a regional thing.

Harriet Jones

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Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #38 on: June 30, 2017, 08:42:31 PM »
I would definitely associate a cocktail event with not much seating.   

However, I'm not comfortable standing for more than a couple hours, especially if I'm wearing heels.   If there's nowhere to sit after my knee gives out, I'll be leaving.

HannahGrace

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Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #39 on: June 30, 2017, 09:34:16 PM »
Sure, a cocktail party, I don't expect to have a designated seat.  I also don't expect to be there more than an hour or two max.  A wedding, I expect to be there at least a few hours, and I expect to get to sit to go along with the longer time frame.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #40 on: July 01, 2017, 12:24:30 AM »
I think I've posted about this issue before. I've been to cocktail receptions before. In theory they sound good. The idea is that everyone (bar the elderly, very young, injured, etc) - at some stage of the event - will have a turn at sitting, standing, dancing, etc. It's definitely meant to encourage people to mingle (as well as save money, since they're generally cheaper than sit-down receptions!).

In practice however, it usually doesn't work that way. As others have stated, what tends to happen is that people rush to claim a seat, then basically sit there all night, refusing to give it up. That results in the other guests having to stand all night.

I think the able-bodied, younger guests who hog a chair for the entire event are also partly to blame. I don't think the hosts share all the culpability here. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what the solution is - except perhaps have chairs for everyone? Or for the hosts to politely remind their guests to take turns to sit/stand/etc?

gellchom

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Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #41 on: July 01, 2017, 08:53:44 AM »
 Really I think the only way to make a cocktail party style reception work is to figure on it only lasting about 60 to 90 minutes, with no dancing. I think that speeches and toasts and cake cutting and such would have to be kept way, way short as well:  less than three minutes total, even, maybe. Because it's one thing to stay on your feet mingling and having cocktails and nibbles; another to have to stand on your feet to listen to speeches and toasts.

If your only guests are young people who all like clubbing, then I suppose it could work to have a longer party with dancing. But that brings me back to what I wrote above about having to be considerate of all your guests, if your group is more varied.