Having an organised seating plan at your wedding helps everything to run smoothly, and means your guests can avoid the mad panic of trying to find a seat.
The wedding meal lasts for about 2-3 hours and is a huge part of your big day, so it’s important you’ve got it sorted.
Start organising your seating plan as soon as possible to avoid too much stress. Don’t wait for all the RSVPs to come in before you start planning as it may become too much of a rush before the big day when there are other important things to sort out. You can always edit your seating plan nearer the time according to your RSVPs.
Check with the venue
Always double-check the capacity of your chosen venue, taking into account the size and shape of the tables. Pack everyone in too close and your guests will most likely feel claustrophobic, and you don’t want everyone pushing their chairs back and bashing into people!
Mix it up
If everyone is seated in family groups, people lose the chance to mingle. On the other hand, don’t place people together who don’t know each other at all as it could be awkward for them. Find a balance, whilst taking into account your guests’ ages and interests.
The singles table
As a rule of thumb, guests who attend your wedding with a partner are always seated together. Although match-making might seem fun, don’t force it on your guests or make it super obvious as this will only cause a whole load of awkwardness during the meal. And never, ever have a table dedicated to ‘the singles’.
Try to make sure all tables have an even number of men and women so you get a good mix of conversation. Things can become a little rowdy with same-sex tables once the alcohol starts flowing!
Finding your seat
Always use clear place cards so your guests can find their seats easily and quickly. If you want to create something a little different with your seating plan why not name the tables after things you and your hubby-to-be love? This also avoids the awkward hierarchy of table numbers too!
Assign tables not seats
You can always break tradition and assign guests to tables rather than allocated seats, giving them the choice of who they sit next to throughout the reception. This means they can always switch seats if they’re unhappy or want to mingle.
Who needs access?
Think about where to place elderly guests, pregnant guests or people with little ones who may need to get to the toilet quickly as this will save them getting stressed out.
It may sound pretty obvious, but with all the table plan stress going on some brides and grooms forget to include themselves in the seating plan! You don’t have to have a traditional top table and can always sit with your bridal party or even on your own.
Don’t have one!
This may seem like the easy option but it’s not so great for your guests. People won’t be able to make their mind up about where to sit and guests may still be unseated when the food is being served.
Call in the experts
If you’re really struggling with organising the seating plan and the stress is getting too much, call in the professionals! Top Table Planner seat hundreds of guests and you can still move people around, add tables and loads more with the click of a mouse. Ditch that mountain of post-it-notes and get someone else to do it!
Don’t overthink it
Spending hours staring at your table plan, adding people in and taking people out will make you literally boggle-eyed. Set aside just one evening to do it with your hubby-to-be, and then come back to it the next day with a fresh mind to make minor changes. And then leave it alone.
Now that you’ve sorted this, check out our top tips for wedding planning to make sure it all goes smoothly with minimal stress!