Posted: Friday August 14, 2015
A well organised wedding table plan can make a significant contribution to the overall success of your reception celebrations by helping things to run with ease. Guests are saved from the frantic rush of trying to place themselves, and you can co-ordinate people where they’ll be most content.
Generally a wedding breakfast will last for 2-3 hours, so if your guests are sat with people they get along with, the day will be far more enjoyable for everyone.
You should begin your seating plan as soon as possible to avoid a last minute rush before your big day. Don’t wait for all of your RSVPs to come in before you start sorting it out, you can always edit the plan later down the line, once you have a better idea of who is definitely attending.
Numbered tables can sometimes imply a perceived hierarchy of importance, so by using table names instead, you can instantly remove this problem. Themed names work particularly well - for example objects, events, people, or places that are relevant and meaningful to you both as a couple. Alternatively, you could take inspiration from any colours or themes of your wedding day and venue.
Mix & Mingle
Avoid seating your guests just into family groups, as this may hinder people from mingling and socialising with one another. On the contrary, don’t create tables full of people who don’t know each other at all as this can be rather awkward. Aim to come up with a good balance, taking into account the interests and ages of your guests.
Don’t single them out
As a rule of thumb, guests who attend your wedding with a partner should be seated together. While it can be tempting to try and matchmake guests who are single, if it is forced and obvious, it will just create a tense atmosphere! You should also avoid having a dedicated ‘singles’ table as this can be pretty intimidating.
Even it out
It’s a good idea to ensure an even number of males and females on each table, as this encourages a good mix of conversation. Things may become a little rowdy with same-sex tables, especially once the alcohol is flowing! Traditional seating arrangement sees men and women sat alternately around the lengths of the table.
Use clearly scripted individual name cards for each guest to help them find their seat quickly and easily. If you fancy being a bit more creative with your name cards, you could perhaps incorporate them as personalised gift cards for the wedding favours.
Chart it up
Once you’ve had all of your RSVPs back, begin making a large seating chart display that shows people exactly where they are sitting. This saves guests from wandering around and checking each individual table for their place card. Display the chart where it can be easily seen, and consider making multiple charts if you have a lot of guests to avoid unnecessary crowding.
Remember that it is important that your guests have a good time during the meal and the speeches, as it makes for a much pleasant atmosphere for everyone, and the seating plan is a big part of this. Just make sure you consider all the options and try to come to a compromise, that ensures that at least most of your guests will be happy.