The Great Debate

There is no doubt this in an intense time of year for all across the nation. With the future president to be decided in a few days, everyone is on edge, myself included.

However, when you are also two months out from your personal “big day” there are other debates to be had. For me it has been “to assign or not assign.” This my friends is the big question.

From the beginning of this crazy wedding planning journey I have known I did not want to have a sit down, plated dinner reception. I wanted to have several “action stations” providing us the opportunity to serve our guests many different cuisines. It served my “wannabe foodies” status quite nicely. This decision also lended itself to not assigning seats. Having grown up in the south I had been used to this methodology and never found it to be a problem. People can get their food, pull up a chair, and repeat this action as many times as they want. I felt it encouraged mingling and wasn’t as “structured.” However I began to read in various bridal publications that it wasn’t polite to leave your guests without a seating assignment, and people appreciated having a space to call their own. Thus began many months of wavering about assigning and not assigning. I polled friends, many of whom said they would appreciate and assignment. However the top voter, my mom, was adamantly against it. I fell somewhere in between.

After our walk through in August both my caterer and our reception site coordinator suggested not assigning. According to them when you give people a seat assignment it is somewhat of a natural instinct to immediately go to your assigned space an await further instruction. Therefore forcing us to call people up by tables to get their food to avoid huge lines. This was not an option as I am not designating hours of time to just eating dinner. I was still unsure how to be ok with whatever decision I made.

Soon after my caterer put together two different floor plans, obviously subject to change. One for open seating, one for assigned.

The top picture represents our possible floor plan should we not assign. I instantly appreciated the varied visual differences in this plan over the assigned version. However it was still to close to call.

I was able to make my decision by attending a wedding where seats were assigned. The exact reaction that my vendors predicted occurred: like moths to a flame the guests went straight to their seats and waited. For an hour and a half before dinner was assigned. Also, after being put at a table where everyone but myself sat on one side of the political fence, my vote was cast. I voted no to assigned seats.

In the end it will make more sense for my wedding. With the way I have set out my say of schedule, and the fact I want most of the evening to be spent dancing, not assigning lends itself to such an evening. I certainly believe that assigned, sit down dinners can be beautiful, however, this is what makes each wedding unique and special isn’t it? No two are alike.

Plus my mom is thrilled.