Does everybody need to sit down at the same time?

Our wedding reception room is not the biggest, and I'm trying to envision how its going to look. Do we need to make sure there are enough tables available for every guest to have a seat the whole time? Obviously a fair amount of people will be up dancing. We have access to other rooms where we could easily put other tables, if people want to take time out and sit down, but this is not where the music will be (I'm sure that will be a good thing, for people wanting a little peace and quiet!)


  • What type of food are you serving?  Is it a sit down type meal or is it finger food?
  • What type of food are you serving?  Is it a sit down type meal or is it finger food?

    Just a small buffet of finger food. 
  • TeamJamiesonLoweTeamJamiesonLowe Posts: 406 New bride
    edited March 2019
    I think with finger food you don’t NEED to have a seat for everyone.  If you can provide one for every guest it’s really the best way to do it.  

    When chairs are in short supply people tend towards grabbing them at the start and not getting up so they don’t lose their seat!  This can actually discourage guests to get up to dance and socialise.  

    Also it can be a bit awkward for evening guests arriving as everyone has a group of seats and they don’t and it can make people feel unwelcome.  This is why hotels often kick everyone out the room and rearrange the furniture when the evening guests arrive.  

    In hotels we never put out 100% chairs for evening guests as by that time some people were hanging out in other rooms (buffet/photo booth/lounge/outside smoking) or some people would leave early.  But we always rearranged the room so the day guests didn’t have exclusive use of the tables they had used for the meal.  For example, If the day guests were 80, the evening guests were an extra 40, we would add 2 more tables of 10, plus bring in extra chairs at the side so people could add them on to tables.  

    Generally guests are more comfortable if there is a seat each to give them a ‘base’.  They can drop off their bags, have somewhere to put their food and drinks down, and with enough seats they won’t be worried if someone nicks them if they get up to dance with you!  In extreme situations people who are elderly, have small kids or perhaps have non-visible disabilities may have to leave early if they can’t get a seat.

    Have the venue told you how many chairs they can place in the room?  With finger foods you don’t need the traditional round tables of 8 guests which take up the most space.  Even a mix of high tables, rounds, long tables, chairs at the side etc is fine as you’re not doing a sit down meal.  

    With seating in another room, this can be good if the elders want to escape a loud band and sit down and chat.  But be careful it doesn’t ruin your event if half the guests leave the room for a seat leaving no one on the dance floor and killing your party atmosphere!  

    I worked in weddings for over 12 years and have seen hundreds of weddings, so this is coming from a place of experience.  I hope it helps.
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