Remember how fun playing musical chairs was as a child? The music, the anticipation running to find a seat as fast as possible, and that happy feeling when you got in your seat? You won! But oh! The feeling you had when you did NOT get a seat fast enough–Booo hoo!!
Musical chairs loses its charm with age as nobody wants to be left the odd man out. Is that why we assign seating at weddings? Maybe. Or to keep your crazy college roommate away from your uptight aunt.
I give the musical chairs analogy when meeting with my clients as we are talking about The Seating Chart. As hard as you’ve worked on your chart, unfortunately, sometimes guests don’t sit where you assign them. It’s awkward for everyone involved. For example: your guest and her husband pick up their card that tells them they are sitting at Table 10 and when they get to Table 10 ALL CHAIRS ARE FULL. Not cool. It’s awkward for them as a guest. It’s awkward for you as the host. And it’s awkward for the people at the table when I come up to them and ask each one of them individually if they are assigned to that table. Busted!
It’s not that your guests are rude, per se, it’s that they either get caught up talking to someone else and they go sit down with them, or a “manners challenged” person brings an uninvited date. Or child. When will people learn?!
This is my solution: when you are creating your seating chart, assign a minimum of 2 empty seats at a table out on the perimeter of the room and mark on your seating chart “table X has 2 extra seats” so if this comes up, your wedding coordinator can just take the couple over to that table and all is well. Or we can ask the table crashers to go back to their original table or go to table X. If these empty spots are not needed, they can always be removed by the banquet staff when dinner starts. It is MUCH easier to take a place setting away than to create a place setting while your guests are awkwardly standing by.
We all win!
To close out the topic of table crashers, please enjoy…