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Questions about Reception Seating... What to do with Wedding Party AND Should we have assigned seats?

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#1 Jacki7896

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    Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:42 AM

    A couple of questions for those that have more etiquette sense than me....



    1.  We plan to have about 50-60 people at our destination wedding.  The resort's tables seat 8, and they said 9 tables was about as many as I could have in the area where I would like our reception.  So as to not make it so crowded, I would like to have less tables-- BUT then that means obviously I will have to make sure all of the tables are filled.  We have a very diverse group coming so far-- a handful of my high school and college friends, a lot of his college friends, some of my work colleagues, some of his work colleagues, my mom, his parents, etc.  I am not sure they all fit into nice groups to complete tables of 8, and I am worried about assigning seats because I do not want to offend anyone (i.e., who gets stuck at the "boring" table with my mom and his parents?).  On the other hand, I do not want this awkward moment when people are rushing to get to certain tables and some people are left standing without knowing where to go.  So, I am leaning towards doing assigned tables, but I wonder how you all are thinking about handling the mixing of groups.  Or am I just overly concerned about something totally minor?


    2.  This is my second wedding, so my side of the bridal party is very small:  my two best friends from childhood.  My FI, on the other hand, has 8 groomsmen.  I dont care about the uneven numbers, but I dont know what to do at the reception for dinner seating.  If we put me and FI, and then my two BMs and their husbands, that is 6 of our 8 for the table.  Is it rude to tell my FI to just pick 1 (with date) or 2 of his groomsmen to sit at our table?  I feel like girls would be more offended if I stuck them at a differant table, especially since I only have 2 of them, but I also dont want to seperate them from their husbands, but I want to be fair and let FI have who he wants at the table... and so my dilema rages on in my head.   I realize I am probably more stressed out about this than necessary and that FI does not even care about the "equality of the wedding party table," so maybe it is a stupid question.  But I was just wondering whether any of you have similar issues or possible solutions. 




    #2 mochamakes3

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      Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:56 AM

      Jacki - we had an uneven bridal party, 2 BM, 3 GM. I also had the issue of my MoH being single and my sister wanting to sit with her husband and their son. Eventually, I decided that we would have a sweetheart table, to ensure that we could talk to each other and not feel pressure of sitting with others. We only had 30 people, but still a mix of family, friends, and coworkers. I just set up table of people that I knew needed/wanted to be together and filled in the blank spots. I think that's the best any bride can do.

      #3 torilynnsmith

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        Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:57 AM

        Hi Jacki, 


        Don't know how much help I will be but I will definitely give you my opinion and 2 cents.


        Regarding question 1)


        - last summer we attend a wedding for my FIs cousin, it was NOT assigned seating just seat yourself.  It was AWFUL! We arrived probably 15-20 minutes early for the reception there was a group of about 10 of us but we were willing to split up, we could not even get 2s at any of the tables.  It was extremely awkward and uncomfortable my FI and myself along with my FBIL ended up sitting at a table with all the brides older aunts and uncles and it was a very uncomfortable dinner to say the least.  Some of the family even ate off their laps because they couldn't get a seat.  We are convinced there weren't enough tables but I said at that moment I would NEVER leave seating un assigned.  As much as it seems more easy going and laid back the only way I think it works is if there is an excess of tables OR if you have your bridal party seating people as they come in later to ensure couples aren't split up etc.


        That being said I would definitely recommend doing a assigned seating or assigned tables.  You could do a nice seating chart up with table numbers and then people could decide who they sit beside etc. but at least that way you know your guests will all get their butts in seats and at least be with SOMEONE they know.  I think it would be much worse to be split up from your partner/wife/husband etc. than to be sat at the "boring" table  LOL


        Mixing of the groups is normal at weddings, keep people with similar interests or backgrounds together my suggestion would be

        FIs college friends

        FIs Coworkers

        Your Coworkers

        Your college friends


        When all else fails and you can't fill a table seat people who are there "for you" together and people who are there "for him" together as at least they have that in common.


        Regarding question 2)


        In my opinion there is nothing worse for the husband or wife not in the bridal party to be split up at a wedding, but the facts are it happens and that life.  The nice thing about a destination wedding is that a lot of your group will have seen each other throughout the week and also it lends itself to a more comfortable and laid back environment.  That being said, with the off numbers of your group and table sizes I would suggest maybe doing a sweetheart table for you and your husband! Just the two of you at one table and then your bridal party could just be dispersed throughout the rest of the tables with the groups whom they "most belong to" that way they can all be with their husband or wife or whomever they are travelling with annnnnd no one is cut out of the "head table".  Another option to off set the "boring table" would to be to have you and your husband sit with your immediate family, ie. you mom and his parents.  This is a nice way for them to feel special and involved and also to figure out your seating problems.  


        After all, the dinner is just a small part of the whole day and once the meal portion is over most people move around anyways so this would just get you through this first little part and then it would be time to party!!!!!


        Sorry for such a long post, my FI and I have been talking about this a lot lately too because it is tough!!!


        Best of luck!!!!


        #4 Jacki7896

        • Jr. Member
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          Posted 13 June 2011 - 03:06 PM

          Thanks to both of you so very much!  Such very good ideas and suggestions.... and I dont feel so stupid now for worrying about it all.  I definitely will do assigned tables, and then, I think you are right... me and FI should just sit with the parents.  That would solve two of my problems at once.  :)


          Thanks again!!!

          #5 J and G 2012

          J and G 2012
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            Posted 13 June 2011 - 03:10 PM

            Thanks for the advice Tori.

            I hadn't really though about seating everyone. Now that I think about it, I will probably try to do up the seating plan while we are down there. Just have the Name cards already to go.

            We are going with a very diverse but big group. I figure some might make friends and want top sit together, so I'll wait until I'm down there. But definatly will assign seating, nothing worse standing arounds and not know where to go!

            #6 skp1

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              Posted 13 June 2011 - 04:03 PM

              Seating was the thing I was dreading the most. No matter how hard you try, there is always someone who gets the short end of the stick. But I agree you have to do it. It's too chaotic otherwise and puts pressure on your guests ( which of course we don't want to do). We have assigned tables but not assigned seats. Plus we figure the tables are close enough together that you can easily turn around and talk to someone at the next one. So that helped us with coming up with the groupings. It's not easy. We are also doing the sweetheart table - that solves a lot of problems right off the bat. And I also agree, don't separate spouses just because one is in the wedding party. Weddings are such a romantic time so your guests will want to be with significant others. My advice would be to not stress about it until you have a final guest list. I kept making tables and the guest list kept changing and I drove myself crazy. I'm happy with the end result - everyone has at least one other couple at the table they know or would get along with. The whole table doesn't have to click but at least no one is alone.

              Steph & John........Atlantis.......June 18, 2011......happily married

              #7 torilynnsmith

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                Posted 13 June 2011 - 06:59 PM

                Never feel stupid, there is never a silly question because I can assure you there are probably 50 other brides on here wondering the same thing!!!!


                Originally Posted by Jacki7896 

                Thanks to both of you so very much!  Such very good ideas and suggestions.... and I dont feel so stupid now for worrying about it all.  I definitely will do assigned tables, and then, I think you are right... me and FI should just sit with the parents.  That would solve two of my problems at once.  :)


                Thanks again!!!


                #8 bride3183

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                  Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:48 PM

                  Good advice, thanks ladies

                  Dreams Los Cabos - October 29, 2011

                  #9 Sharon99

                  • Sr. Member
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                    Posted 14 June 2011 - 07:02 AM

                    Thanks guys! This is some good advice I know I will definitely be using when time comes. Certainly going to do assigned seating!

                    #10 JayKay

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                    • Wedding Date:January 13, 2012
                    • Wedding Location:Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Jamaica
                    • LocationSouthern Alberta

                    Posted 15 June 2011 - 07:39 AM

                    This is something I had never even thought about, maybe because we are going to have a smaller group.  But I realized it still will matter as we are going to have to have more then one table.  Great advice ladies!

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