Let’s imagine that we’re all on our way from the lovely ceremony to the amazing winery of the newly married couple’s choice for their (obviously) perfect reception. Everyone’s probably looking forward to getting settled, grabbing some wine, eating some hors d’oeuvres and letting loose. You get to the seating area and notice there is no seating chart. You’re there alone for whatever reason and you don’t know many people there. What do you do?
A while back, something similar happened to me. It caught me completely by surprise and at first, I was a little taken back. I didn’t know very many people there, and those I did know were very close to the family of the couple. After a quick scan of the crowd, however, it didn’t take long to spot the other people in my situation. I watched while those who knew each other hugged and kissed and grabbed their places, and those who made walked to the back table with their guest and glass of wine. I took a deep breath and made my way toward that table, and you know what? I ended up having a great time.
There was no pressure. The conversation wasn’t forced because those at my table weren’t looking for the chance to speak with the people they really wanted to sit with but couldn’t. I didn’t make any new friends that night, but I didn’t feel out of place either.
Now don’t get mad at me Type As – I know you’re probably conjuring up the many reasons why a seating chart is a must, and I get it. Some people might not feel comfortable looking for their own seat. Maybe you can give your guests a heads up that there won’t be a seating chart so if anyone feels like they need some assistance, someone can be available to help. Elderly folks, for example, might need help finding a table close to food and near family. That is understandable and can be accommodated very easily.
I’ve been to many weddings where I look back and wonder what the bride was thinking with her seating chart. Ex’s sitting together, groups of old friends sitting with the one couple that doesn’t know anyone so they’re forced to listen to inside jokes all night, the young single girl sitting with the creepy cousin because she thought it would be cute to play matchmaker … I’ve seen it all. And I understand you can’t make everyone happy at a wedding, but I also feel that there is something to be said about giving your guests a choice. What do you think?