The Road to Mrs. with Nae – Guest List, Invitations and Seating, Oh My! Part 3

Does planning your reception seating chart feel like a science project?

As a guest of many weddings over the years, I’ve seen how the reception seating arrangement can have a significant impact on the guest experience. Given that Mr. DrummerBoy and I have opted on a less formal reception by having a station-style meal rather than a plated one, we initially considered open seating for the reception.

When creating the love story for our invitations, we really enjoyed the idea of sharing the fun details of our story that many of our guests may not know. This lead to the idea of seating our guests according to their role in the story with each table numbered and named based on these roles, for example a table with my group of friends from undergrad would be named The Terpettes – shout out to the University of Maryland!

I also find something intriguing (or perhaps sinister) about the idea of intentionally seating folks with people they don’t know, forcing guests to get to know one another. Admittedly, I have not enjoyed this arrangement as a guest in the past.

With response cards starting to pour in (and no ‘NOs’ yet!), we will need to decide soon on how to seat our guests during the reception. I have thoroughly enjoyed your feedback thus far so I’d love to get your input on this…Which seating arrangement should we go with?

Please complete the poll below and share your thoughts in the comments.

What type of seating arrangement style should Nae and Mr. DrummerBoy have at their reception?

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    1. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      Um…I feel obliged to add my two cents and get the comments started. My vote is for themed centerpieces — they will make great conversation starters. Happy Planning, Nae! (BTW, Who knew you went to Maryland?! We must discuss offline. ;-)

    2. Sorry, I’m in the middle on this one. I recognize the idea of mixing things up to make guests interact, but much of the fun at an event is talking to people you already know as you know they will enhance your experience and memories. The table themes sound cute, and it might serve as an unintended mixer for all who desire.

    3. You already know that I LOVE the table theme idea. I agree with MrsTDJ, that will be a conversation piece for all the guests to mix and mingle. Either way I’m glad I dont have to worry about where I’m seated at this wedding. LOL

    4. Open seating. I’ve been to a few weddings where people ended up changing their seating arrangement to sit with who they wanted to anyway. You’ll never know because you will be busy at the head table. LOL!!! I love the theme idea too, which basically means I will be sitting with people I already know anyway. Save yourself the trouble and just let everyone do what they want. LOLOL!!

    5. I was torn on how to vote… Open seating has appeal with the station-based feeding plan but some people may have trouble finding seats with folks they know since there aren’t infinite seats at any table. If you go with this option, consider having your wedding planner/assistants help guests by spreading them out to emptier tables as the clusters of friends develop. That way, no group of 5 of your friends will be looking for a place to sit together while all of the tables have only 4 open seats. But, I voted for the themed tables because it’s über-cool to tell your love story for your guests in that way. It feels good to learn more about the couple on their big day.

      In the end, no matter what you do, TRUE friends will take a available seat, eat their chicken, toast you then dance it up knowing that you put so much effort into planning a special experience for them to share in.

    6. This all makes my head hurt…LOL…just more planning…open seating…I want less not more planning… :) Blessings with whatever you decide though…

    7. Enjoying our journey Mama Solstice :0)

    8. SpikesDtr says:

      I don’t even know what a station-style meal is. There goes that old generation gap. It’s all good.

    9. The themed seating is an original idea to me.

    10. I am looking forward to finding out what seating arrangement you end up choosing.

    11. I like the idea of seating people according to themes of your life. It goes with the theme of your wedding. It also helps people to play catch up with people they have not seen in a while and may helpe peopel who don’t know many other guests quickly realize what they have in common with the people at thier table.

      I don’t like the idea of seating people who don’t know each other together. They are comming to your wedding to celebrate you. It’s not a networking event where you need to facilitate new connections.


    1. […] enough sanity time in the day. The good news is my latest Road to Mrs. post is up over on Black Bridal Bliss. In today’s post I am requesting your input on guest seating so please weigh […]

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