Thursday, October 15, 2009

Where & how to seat my guests?

This can be one of the most challenging parts of planning your wedding. Where do I seat everybody? It needs to be done and it might take awhile, but if you don't want utter chaos at your reception you need a plan. Although, you do need to ask yourself a few questions first.

What kind of wedding reception am I having? Am I having just a cake and champagne reception? Or a Cocktail reception? Or is it a seated 5 course meal? For the first two you don't even really need tables just a few belly bars/high boys {tables that come up to your waist}, but if you are thinking of a meal every guest needs a seat. This is where the fun part comes in.

Are your guests going to be served their meal~will you offer one meal for everybody or a choice of entrees? For this option you do need to ask them their choice on their response card. If you are only having one entree you still need to offer a vegetarian meal.

Are you having a buffet? Everybody gets their own meal. No need to put anything on the response card, although you might put ___________ special needs. {you should add this for a seated meal, too} With so many vegans, lactose intolerant, and gluten free people these days, you don't want somebody not able to eat because you didn't ask. Plus, you are paying for their seat.

From there you need to decide if you want each guest seated at a certain seat at a specific table. If you have more than one entree this is a must. Which means you need to have place cards at each table setting, and indicate which meal they are having on the place card or the staff will be 'auctioning off' the food. Which means they will be yelling out, who has beef? Who has the chicken? Great mood breaker and so very classy.

If you are having a buffet you don't need this extra step. But be forewarned everybody is going to sit where they can get the best view. {which means your mom & dad will have their backs to you} They are one of the last guest to arrive and the 'good' seats will already be taken.

Either way your guests need to know where to sit when they first get to the reception site. For this you need either escort cards {place cards that are at the door} or at least a chart with their name on it.

You do need to have every guest listed, or at least someone needs to know exactly how many guests are seated at each table and it needs to add up to your guarantee. Nothing is more fun for the banquet staff or wedding planner than rearranging seats and place settings after guests are seated.

There are several ways to do this. Like I said you can make a chart and list the guest by last name with the table name. Or you can have a whole table lined with escort cards, or have them hanging from a board. However you decide to do this, they should be alphabetical by last name. That's how people look for things, it will take less time for them to find the right table and less hang up at the 'door'. Especially if you have more than 20 people at your reception. Please don't forget this step. It is so confusing to have 100+ people roaming around a banquet room trying to find their name and table

So sit back have a glass of wine and decide exactly where the both of you want your guests to sit. Guests expect this, the banquet staff expects this and it makes keeping everyone in order a lot easier.

Then you can have fun naming your tables. Instead of having them numbered, name them.. You can choose places that you have been, if you are travelers. Your honeymoon place and words/places from there. Love in different languages. If you are having your wedding on the beach, beach words, the names of bodies of water, or names of shells. If you are having your wedding in a winery, different grapes, different wines or wine in different languages. If you do number, why not have pictures of the both of you at that age on the table. The list goes on. It is another way to put your signature on your wedding, just don't forget to name yours.

Happy reading,

No comments: