Assigned Seating or Open Seating…..What’s your preference?

Always a big discussion for social events and especially weddings.  Is it better to have assigned seating for all guests or have complete open seating, or open seating with reserved tables for family and wedding party (if it’s a wedding)?  What are your thoughts?  Let us know!

It seems to totally depend upon who you talk to about this.  I firmly believe there are two schools of thought on this one and either one is perfectly fine.  It’s really all about your personal preference for YOUR event!  Having said that, if you are having a plated dinner reception/event, which is considered a more formal event, then assigned seating is a better option, generally speaking.  However, if you are having a buffet or stations, that is considered a bit less formal than a plated affair, so you can go either way.

Advantages of having assigned seats are:

1.  You know that everyone that has RSVP’d will have a specific place to sit.

2.  Normally this gives you better control to seat people together that know/like each other and will get along well.

3.  Everyone will have a specific seat, so there is no fighting over where to sit or who to sit with.

Disadvantages of assigned seats are:

1.  It is much more work for the organizer of the event.  You have to consider who knows and gets along (or doesn’t) with whom.  You’ll need a definite head count and then you have to manage groups/families, when there are only 8-10 seats per table.

2.  People may not RSVP, but show up, in which case you’ll need to have at least a few seats available that aren’t assigned.

3.  You will need to put a spreadsheet together, in alphabetical name order, and another one is table number order, with seating arrangements.  You will also need to print place cards for guests.  And it’s best to have a large floorplan/seating chart, so guests know which table they are seated at and also where the tables are.  Plus, you now need table numbers on each table.

As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to both sides.  Share with us your thoughts on Assigned Seating or Unassigned seating and why you feel the way you do!  We look forward to hearing from each of you.

Make every event exceptional!

Photo Wall at a birthday party

Are you always looking for a good place to take pictures with friends at a party? Is the lighting good? Are there too many distractions behind you that will take away from your photo? Are there windows everywhere that will have a glare in your photos? So many questions!

Add a photo wall to your party! Choose a location with plenty if space, for larger groups of people and one that has enough space for someone to take the photo without standing in front of other guests who are dancing, watching a TV or slide show, etc, and with good lighting. Then you’ll want to have a back drop. Something that makes a good photo background, not too busy or generic.

Be sure to kick the photo process off yourself with a few guests so that people know what the back drop is for. Also, set up your own Instagram (or similar) account and put signage around the party so your guests can upload their own photos and everyone can see all the photos!

PhotoWall Backdrop

Exceptional Events blog is officially active!!!

While we maybe a little late to the blog game, we are hopeful that this blog will provide you with exciting and informative information, ideas, helpful hints and so much more for all of your event and wedding planning needs!  Please let us know if you are interested in specifics topics and we’ll be happy to cover those in an upcoming blog post.

It’s Summer Time and that means lots of outdoor activities, vacations, graduations, BBQ’s, pool and lake parties and the usual weddings, social and corporate events.  What can you do to make these events more fun for your guests and less work for you?  First, keep it simple!!!  You don’t need to have one of everything, as long as you’re offering a few choices of food, drinks and activities, everyone will have a fantastic time.  Generally you want to offer something like this:

Drinks – (if you’re offering alcohol)

Beer (one regular & one light option)

Wine (during the summer people will drink more white wine, but do offer some red wine for those that only drink reds)

Signature drink (instead of offering a full bar, select 1 or 2 specialty drinks to offer)

Non-alcoholic options (always, always have a non-alcoholic option for guests; usually at least 1-2 options in addition to water is preferred; and if one option has sugar, the 2nd option should be sugar-free)

Food – Again, keep it simple, maybe 1-2 main course choices, plus 2-3 sides

Meats – during the summer, try to steer clear of the heavier meats (unless it’s a BBQ, then anything goes); and if possible, offer something vegetarian

Sides – be sure, if you’ll be outside, to keep perishables (i.e. potato salad, fruit, etc.) chilled.  TIP – use a larger pan/dish with ice underneath the pan/dish the side is served in.  This will keep your perishables chilled.  Be sure to keep an eye on the ice & refill as needed.  And always have something that kids will eat too (if there will be kids at your event).

Activities – 1-2 options for adults and 1-2 options for kids

Depending upon the type of event and location will help to determine the activity choices you have.  Obviously you don’t want to have lawn darts inside!  You can also find an activity that both adults and kids will like, which will make it much more interactive.

Decorations – If your event is outside, be sure to secure your decorations, table cloths, napkins, silverware, etc.  It doesn’t take alot of wind to blow everything off of a table……what a mess!  Use heavy cups or acrylic glasses to hold your silverware and keep a plate on top of napkins, if you don’t have a special holder for these items.  Also, keep your food covered as much as possible to keep the bugs away.

Have you thought about hanging bags of water around your event?  We’ve heard this keeps the flys away!  Try it out and let us know if it really works.  Also, the OFF brand fans (they are refillable) do work really well in keeping bugs & mosquitos away from a fairly large area.

HAPPY SUMMER!!!  Enjoy all your activities and events and let us know what your favorite summer activity/event is.