Tips for creating Wedding Seating Plans for your wedding reception.
Putting together your wedding seating plan can sometimes feel like a complicated chore but it doesn’t have to be.
Wedding seating plans can be one of those wedding tasks that keeps getting put off and off but the last thing you want is to be spending the night before or worse the morning of the wedding finishing of your wedding seat plan.
It should be all done and dusted at least two weeks before your wedding day so it’s a good idea to start working on it at least a month before.
It might be helpful to give it some thought while you are putting together the guest list.
Write your wedding guests names on individual little pieces of paper, clear the dining room table and start shuffling names around.
Before you do, talk to your wedding venue and ask about their table sizes, so you know how many people you are putting on each table.
You can be a little bit flexible on the numbers but remember it’s easier to put 9 people on a table that seats 10 than it is on a table that is designed for only 8.
Be mindful that some venues might charge you extra if this leads to needing additional tables, Also consider the optimum number of tables the room holds.
Use small plates to roughly represent the tables in the room and think about who backs on to who as well as who they are sat next to.
Start at the top.
Tick off the easy table first, start your wedding seating plan with the top table.
Bride and groom in the middle, parents either side, best man & chief bridesmaid. It feels good to tick at least one table off.
Guest tables are generally round and will normally sit 8 or 10 but the top table is normally rectangular and can often be made longer or shorter depending on who you want to be sat there.
You could even make the top table a ‘sweetheart table’ just for two and a little one-on-one time. Or do it your way, Remember it is your wedding day.
Once you have the top table sorted you’ll find putting together your seating plan easier to work out from that and from the outer tables in. The middle ground will just fall into place naturally and before you know it your wedding seating plan will be done.
Lock it in.
Once you have a plan you are happy with, make a note of where everybody is going to sit and leave it alone.
I love my spreadsheets and would have started the whole wedding guest list with excel and added columns for things like table settings.
To keep track of who is sitting next to who I would use a system like A1, A2 and so on Table ‘A’ place 1, 2 going around the table. Maybe have place 1 as the seat closest to the top table?
To follow on from the ‘low-tech’ theme you could use paper plates and write your guest names along the edge with the table number in the middle.
Parents vs Step parents.
This can be tricky for some couples and your own judgement will guide you here. If things are a little tense then one option might be to have parents & partners hosting their own tables.
Remember, the parent-seating question is a flexible one. Set it up in whatever way best suits everybody.
If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to talk to your parents before you make your final decision.
Similar considerations may have to be made other guests/family members who don’t get on when putting together your wedding table plan.
With this said most people are sensible enough to know it is your day and are grown up enough to put aside any differences for your wedding day.
Play ‘Match Maker’
This could be your chance to play cupid, do you have old friends you know would be perfect for each other but would kill you if they thought you were trying to set them up with each other?
This is your chance to give them a chance to get to know each other and figure out what you already know.
Let Your Guests decide.
A little unconventional but maybe let your guests decide.
Make a seating plan that is just your guest’s names on plaques.
Instruct your guests to take their name plaques and place them where they want to sit. First come, first served kind of deal.
Maybe not traditional but it removes one of your to-do’s and one that can be a big headache. Plus nobody can blame you for being sat next to the annoying uncle.
Like everything wedding, it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed but it’s your wedding. It should be fun and it should be done your way so enjoy.
Use an App.
There’s always “an app for that” there are many wedding planning apps including apps to help you come up with the perfect wedding table seating plan. I still like the low tech paper labels and a table but to each their own.
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