Have you got a table plan? Working out who sits where at your wedding can take hours of head-scratching.
You could spend days trying to get this perfect – making sure arch-enemies Auntie Flo and second cousin Deirdre are nowhere near each other, and trying to put your friends together… but believe me, when it comes to table plans there’s no such thing as perfect.
There is, however, such a thing as ‘barely adequate’…
Once upon a time, a friend of mine had a bit of a misunderstanding. Well, when I say “a bit”, I mean a total disaster.
She’s still mortified now and it was more than 10 years ago. You see, she and her partner spent ages, as you do, working out their table plan. They’d drawn it all out on a piece of A4 paper, crossed out names, rewritten them elsewhere. The usual kind of stuff when you’re making plans. Then she gave it to her venue, so they could produce the table plan she was expecting. Imagine her horror when she arrived to find they’d pinned up her rough, hand-drawn, crossed-out-and-rewritten scrappy piece of paper!
It’s unbelievable, really. Even if you were mistaken in thinking the venue would print you a table plan, you would think that somebody who worked there might have checked with the bride and groom that this was what they wanted… Never assume that other people have any common sense.
Anyway – back to my top seating plan tips:
1. A seating plan is always a good idea, even if you’re only having a buffet. It saves the inevitable panic when people try to grab the ‘best seat’.
2. If you’re having a very informal or small wedding, why not let your guests choose their own seats? That way, you can still create your table plan to make it easy for your venue, but you get your guests to do some of the work for you.
3. Traditionally, the top table seats the bride and groom, their parents, the best man, and the chief bridesmaid. If your parents are divorced, you may want to include their new partners; if that’s not possible, seat them as close to the top table as you can.
4. Sit young children with their parents, but consider seating the older children together – they’ll have more fun that way (and so will their parents).
5. Try and keep younger children entertained, perhaps with an activity pack.
6. Make sure you seat guests with babies close to the edge of the room so if the baby starts to bawl they can leave the room easily and without fuss.
7. I think it’s best to seat groups of friends who know each other together. They’ll have a better time this way. It can be tempting to mix groups so they get to know each other – but believe me, it will make the whole thing less enjoyable for them. It’s hard work making small talk with people you don’t know…
8. Avoid having a table of ‘left overs’ – try and mix the ‘odd ones’ across all the tables, so everyone knows at least one person. And don’t try to match make!
9. Don’t create your table plan too early. If someone pulls out at the last minute, you’ll have to do the whole thing again.
10. Try not to get too stressed about this. Do what feels right for you. All you can do is seat people where you think they’ll be most comfortable – the rest is up to them.
If you’re all ready to go with your table plan, get yours sorted now – don’t end up like my friend with her scribbled A4 paper!
Click here to get started on your table plans. We’ll always print your plan, then it’s up to you whether you choose to add a foamex mount board, there’s lots of creative ways you can choose to display your tables. Think about classic mirrors, rustic frames, flower pots, photo frames. You can then either DIY or we can then either make the tables only or mount them as well.
About the Author
Carol Vincent has been passionate about weddings ever since founding Pure Invitation in 2004. Having meticulously planned her own wedding and with more than 15 years of experience in the wedding industry, Carol knows the challenges of planning the wedding of your dreams!