One of the first steps when organizing your quinceañera is to prepare a guest list! This serves as a general base number that will help you get an idea of the furniture or seats that you will need to rent to accommodate your guests. Consider the number of tables, chairs and tablecloths that are needed for the event, but also ask yourself…. do I need to assign seats to my guests, or will they simply take charge of finding their own place at the table that they like the most?
Our dear friend and event planner Alejandra, from B-Yond Events shares her thoughts from her point of view on this topic!
“Throughout 10 years of planning events, we have been in charge of organizing quinceañeras, weddings, corporate parties, and other social events. At the request of our clients, we have made seating arrangements for some events. Other events don’t require seating arrangements so a lot of thought goes into making this decision.
When a client asks us, “Is it really necessary to assign seats to our guests?”, our response will always depend on your type of event and how well you know your guests. Below are three different situations, in which seating arrangements may or may not be needed.
1. International Events (Destination Weddings)- Definitely Recommended
A couple of years ago we organized Aaron and Carolina’s wedding. Aaron, the groom, is originally from Costa Rica but the wedding took place in Honduras, Carolina’s home country. The wedding included foreign guests, and in this case, we made seating arrangements and assigned a table number to each wedding guest. These were enclosed in the invitations prior to the wedding. The goal was to make the Costa Rican guests feel less isolated by assigning them to a table with other guests from the same country.
Of course, as the night went on, all the guests mingled and mixed with other friends and local families, but we avoided that at the beginning so they would feel more comfortable and wouldn’t have to worry about finding a place to sit or finding enough space at a single table. So, if you plan to celebrate and invite friends or relatives who haven’t met, it is highly recommended to assign the seats, so you avoid the drama of “I had no one to talk to” or “I did not feel comfortable”.
2. Quinceañera Party (Divorced Parents)- Very Recommended
This is a delicate subject but very common nowadays. Our beautiful quinceañera was very stressed to make sure her day was perfect, and one of the things that most anguished her and her mother were the seats. Since her father was newly married, (and although the relationship between them was very cordial), they wanted to make sure that he and his new wife (along with their children and family that would attend) had the same table. Of course we could not assign seats only to them, so it was done for all the guests (more than 300) and everything went perfectly well. So if this is similar to your case, we suggest making seating arrangements.
3. Birthday Parties- Not Necessary
When it comes to a special birthday, like your child’s 1st birthday or if they finally hit the double digits, you’ll invite the most special people in your life who have a close relationship to the cumpleañero. In this case, if the number is less than 75 people you can leave the option open and let each guest decide which table and seat to take. This also works for a bridal shower, baby shower or a Tres Años Presentation.” -Alejandra
In conclusion, Mi Padrino recommends seating arrangements for formal events like quinceañeras, weddings and tres años where you know your guests will have conflicts or trouble finding their spot. If you know your guests mix and mingle well, then we recommend not making seating arrangements.
Another helpful tip that will make it easier to make a decision on seating arrangements is using the number of guests as a general rule of thumb.
If your event will have:
Less than 75 guests – Not recommended
Between 76-200 guests- Recommended
201+ guests or more– Highly recommended
Remember to do what feels more comfortable for you and your guests! At the end of the day, the spotlight is on the host so remember to leave the drama outside and make the night unforgettable!