News: IT'S THE 2ND ANNUAL GUATEMALA LIBRARY PROJECT BOOK DRIVE!    LOOKING FOR DONATIONS OF SCIENCE BOOKS THIS YEAR.    Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • December 18, 2017, 01:14:58 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: not enough seating - is this new?  (Read 4227 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

gellchom

  • Member
  • Posts: 3732
Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2017, 10:26:55 PM »
I, too, have been to a few receptions like this over the years, and I can tell you that most guests hate them.  No one says a word to the hosts, but they roll their eyes to each other.  It definitely doesn't make people mingle more; it makes them leave early (and it makes older guests feel unwelcome).

For a cocktail hour between the ceremony and the dinner, you don't need to have enough seats for everyone (and in my experience, no one does), but you do need to have enough seats for your elderly and mobility impaired guests to sit down.

It's fine to have just appetizers or just desserts for a reception, but you still have to have enough seating for everyone (and be prepared for people not staying as long). 
 
I agree, it does not have the breezy, mingly, cocktail party groove that the hosts imagine.  It just feels inconsiderate and uncomfortable.  (For that matter, people like to sit at cocktail parties, too.)  I'm not mobility impaired, and I can dance and walk comfortably in high heels, but standing still in them for long stretches is rough.

In addition, there are usually just a few little high top tables.  So those fill up very quickly with dirty plates, napkins, and glasses, and unless you have an awful lot of servers, guests have no place to put anything down.  If I have a drink in one hand and a plate in the other (not to mention a pocketbook), it's impossible to eat anything on the plate.  If it's food that requires a knife and fork, you really need both hands and a table.  Guests end up drifting out into the hall of the venue to find places to sit or at least to put things down.  This isn't a problem for cocktail hours, in my experience, because people aren't eating as much as they do when that is the only food for the evening, and most of the items are tiny pickups that servers pass; nothing you need a fork or a plate to eat.

Why anyone is recommending this is beyond me.  I've never heard anyone say they like it, let alone prefer it.  Maybe venue owners are trying to maximize the number of guests the hosts can squeeze into the venue, so that they will make more money on liquor.

sammycat

  • Member
  • Posts: 7934
Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2017, 12:43:56 AM »
I've walked out of events that have had insufficient seating before.  I haven't encountered it a wedding yet, but I would also walk out if I did end up at a wedding like this, and take my present with me. (All the weddings I've been too have been sit down two or three course or buffet events, and I hope they stay that way).

It's completely and utterly rude, for all the reasons mentioned by PP; no exceptions.

goldilocks

  • Member
  • Posts: 851
Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2017, 10:48:10 AM »
Yes, I did notice the entire bridal party had a table reserved.   Apparently they don't have to mingle, just the rest of us.

Really I think what happened is the bride selected this venue and when they realized it wasn't big enough, they just decided to "make do".   Big mistake in my opinion.

Zizi-K

  • Member
  • Posts: 2096
Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2017, 10:58:10 AM »
I have found that a greater demand for seating than there is supply does not have the intended effect of causing people to get up and mingle. Quite the opposite, people that get seats first are terrified to lose them, so they refuse to budge from them during the whole event. Or, they camp out with close friends or family, who save the seats while people make food or beverage runs. It's terrible, IMO.

HannahGrace

  • Member
  • Posts: 1292
Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2017, 11:16:35 AM »
Curious, was this the same wedding you posted about with the loud band?

TeamBhakta

  • Member
  • Posts: 1651
Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2017, 11:25:39 AM »
Yes, I did notice the entire bridal party had a table reserved.   Apparently they don't have to mingle, just the rest of us.

Really I think what happened is the bride selected this venue and when they realized it wasn't big enough, they just decided to "make do".   Big mistake in my opinion.

Ah, the good old A-list vs B-list approach  :P

BigBadBetty

  • Member
  • Posts: 584
Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2017, 12:28:27 PM »
I have found that a greater demand for seating than there is supply does not have the intended effect of causing people to get up and mingle. Quite the opposite, people that get seats first are terrified to lose them, so they refuse to budge from them during the whole event. Or, they camp out with close friends or family, who save the seats while people make food or beverage runs. It's terrible, IMO.
This has been my experience, too. I have never been to a wedding where this happened. However, I have been to other events where there has been a shortage of seats. People are terrified of losing their seats. Other people are like vultures waiting for a seat to open. While I am in relatively good health, I am a complete klutz. I cannot eat, hold a drink and maintain my balance at the same time.

goldilocks

  • Member
  • Posts: 851
Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2017, 04:07:50 PM »
Curious, was this the same wedding you posted about with the loud band?

Yes.   I didn't really enjoy this wedding very much.   

Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Member
  • Posts: 10122
Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2017, 11:13:18 AM »
Personally I feel that providing your guests with sufficient seating so everyone has a place to sit is a basic tenet of hospitality. Especially at an event that is going to last several hours.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

katycoo

  • Member
  • Posts: 4208
Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2017, 11:48:52 PM »
Wow.

I had a cocktail reception.  There was plenty of food.  The bridal party did not have designated seating.  There was not seating for every guest as that defeats the purpose of the style of function, but there was still lots of seating, and the staff brought out additional chairs when requested.  And honestly I think that's the key.  if you need a seat and there isn't one - ask.  Any decent venue will do their best to accommodate.

TeamBhakta

  • Member
  • Posts: 1651
Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #25 on: June 29, 2017, 12:08:36 AM »
Wow.

I had a cocktail reception.  There was plenty of food.  The bridal party did not have designated seating.  There was not seating for every guest as that defeats the purpose of the style of function, but there was still lots of seating, and the staff brought out additional chairs when requested.  And honestly I think that's the key.  if you need a seat and there isn't one - ask.  Any decent venue will do their best to accommodate.

I don't think it's fair to put the onus on guests. I wouldn't be too happy if I only got a chair after chasing down the busy venue staff.

gellchom

  • Member
  • Posts: 3732
Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #26 on: June 29, 2017, 02:02:12 PM »
Wow.

I had a cocktail reception.  There was plenty of food.  The bridal party did not have designated seating.  There
 was not seating for every guest as that defeats the purpose of the style of function, but there was still lots of  d a seat and there isn't one - ask.  Any decent venue will do their best to accommodate.

I don't think it's fair to put the onus on guests. I wouldn't be too happy if I only got a chair after chasing down the busy venue staff.

I agree.  Unless I were disabled, I would feel like a real special snowflake doing that.  I probably just wouldn't stay very long if I didn't have a place to sit/put down my things.

I don't think there is anything wrong with a cocktail party reception -- at least if all of your guests are fairly young and fit; you have to remember that Grandma is your guest, too, and you have to consider what works for all your guests, not just your peers.  I have been to a couple of weddings where there was a seated dinner first, and then the dance part of the evening was in a room that had zero seating; the middle aged guests went up and down stairs bringing chairs for the elderly relatives while the HC and their friends blithely danced away.  Katycoo wisely anticipated that, it sounds like.

But for an entire reception without seating, I would only figure on around 60-90 minutes, and no dancing.  People need a place to put their stuff while they are dancing and a place they can count on sitting down together when they need a rest.

goldilocks

  • Member
  • Posts: 851
Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #27 on: June 29, 2017, 03:58:05 PM »
Wow.

I had a cocktail reception.  There was plenty of food.  The bridal party did not have designated seating.  There was not seating for every guest as that defeats the purpose of the style of function, but there was still lots of seating, and the staff brought out additional chairs when requested.  And honestly I think that's the key.  if you need a seat and there isn't one - ask.  Any decent venue will do their best to accommodate.

Should  I also have asked for another table to be  put out?   

katycoo

  • Member
  • Posts: 4208
Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #28 on: June 29, 2017, 09:13:59 PM »
Wow.

I had a cocktail reception.  There was plenty of food.  The bridal party did not have designated seating.  There was not seating for every guest as that defeats the purpose of the style of function, but there was still lots of seating, and the staff brought out additional chairs when requested.  And honestly I think that's the key.  if you need a seat and there isn't one - ask.  Any decent venue will do their best to accommodate.

Should  I also have asked for another table to be  put out?

Why do you need additional tables if there are plenty of drink tables around that the staff are clearing regularly?

Honestly, I feel like on this forum there can be a bit of attitude that the guests must be treated with kid gloves.  They should be able to arrive and have every whim catered for, regardless of the style of event.

At a cocktail event, people should be moving around.  People also might want a rest at times which is why there's seating available.  And elderly or impaired guests might need a seat for the evening - which is fine.  This idea that guests rush in, bags a seat and refuse to budge for fear of not getting another one is ridiculous - I've never seen this occur. 

If you hate cocktail events that much, just decline.  Noone is making you attend.

Bales

  • Member
  • Posts: 389
Re: not enough seating - is this new?
« Reply #29 on: June 30, 2017, 06:29:28 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.