This question comes up all the time – brides and grooms want to please everybody and have a seat at a table for every person that is invited to the reception. The good news is – you don’t have to! If you are inviting 300 people, you know not everybody will be able to attend. It is not because they don’t love you and wish they were sharing your special day, things happen.

So what do you do? How do you decide how many seats to provide? Best advice – be original – think differently – not everybody is the same, so don’t seat everybody the same. Uncle Fred may prefer to stand while he eats, where cousin George only sits on a couch to eat. Aunt Polly prefers to be outside during meals and little Harriet will run up and down the aisles until everyone is finished.

Okay okay if you are having a ceremony or formal plated dinner, yes every person attending should have a seat. However, if you are having a buffet, relax a little, have fun with the tables and the seating. At the Vox Theatre, we recommend only having seating for 80% of your guests. Not everybody will be eating at the same time, not everybody will want to sit. Also, you don’t want to look over and see 2, 3 or more empty tables. They will look sad and you will think – Who didn’t show up? or look at the money I wasted.

Now if you’re worried about the possibility of people standing and holding their plates, use a cluster of bar height tables or high-tops. These table are a little more social and make for a more relaxed experience. Even better, have a lounge area (or two) with soft seating, maybe a couch, a few soft chairs and a coffee table, like a living room. This is a fun alternative to the traditional banquet seating at round tables. Wedding receptions are fun and comfortable and the seating should be also.