Creating the seating plan for your special day can be one of the most complicated tasks to complete on your wedding to do list. There are a number of things to consider and if some guests aren’t happy with the seating plan there could be some unexpected problems occurring on your special day due to conflicts between some of the guests or old family feuds being brought up!
Taking time to consider many different aspects of your seating plan could prevent these problems. Your seating plan will affect the success of your wedding reception and therefore it would be wise if both you and your partner invested a substantial amount of time in creating it.
The main reason people take so much time in creating a seating plan rather then letting the guests walk into the reception and choosing a seat for them selves is simply because it helps things to run smoothly! It prevents fussing from guests trying to find seats and tables that they prefer; instead each guest will have a set seat with their name somewhere identifying it whether this is on a board placed upon entry into the reception room or simply on a name card.
You should firstly plan the top table, in England this usually consists of the groom and bride seated next to each other and then the chief bridesmaid, grooms mother, brides mother, brides father, grooms father and the best man joining them. For other less traditional top tables or the classic American way have a look at our top table seating plan ideas. – thought you could link this
Once you begin creating your seating plan for the rest of your guests it may become apparent that this can be a very stressful job, here are some great tips for you to consider that will hopefully make this task a lot easier.
A definite must is to be sure to check out your venue first and not only consider where the tables might possibly be situated in the room but the size and shape of the tables you may wish to use. Round tables are very popular at weddings as you can squeeze more guests around them and they make it much easier for people to socialise with each individual on the table (providing you don’t have a huge centre piece of course!) rather then just with the guests immediately in front of and to the side of them. It’s a nice idea to keep all tables the same size with roughly similar number of guests seated at each if you can to ensure the room looks well thought-out.
When thinking about where your tables may be places bare in mind things such as which tables are closest to the dance floor/speakers, any entertainment and the toilets/ bar before you start deciding who should sit where, elderly guests will most probably appreciate being seated away from the speakers or, if you have a number of small children attending you may wish to seat them children nearest to the toilets or near to the windows so their parents can keep an eye on them playing outside if that’s an option etc.
You could mix up your seating plan for a start! Some people sit their guests in family groups as they think their guests will enjoy sitting with people that they’re closest to however it might be a good idea to mix up your guests so that the two family parties get the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other. When you do this you should bear in mind peoples ages and interests and try and make sure that each guest on the table knows at least one of other person on the same table otherwise it might be a very quiet wedding reception with awkward conversations being made especially at the beginning of the night before the drinks start flowing.
You should then spend time considering seating guests next to others that they get along with as it will make the day more enjoyable for everyone, your guests may be sat in these seats for a number of hours whilst listening to the speeches and having their meal so its important you don’t just decide the plan at random.
Seating couples together is always a good idea but don’t forget about family and friends that are single! Attending a wedding can be daughnting enough for people who are single. A big no no would be to put all the single people on one table, they will soon realise this once they all get talking and they could take offence to it, instead you could try seating two people next to each other who you think would get on well with each other, or you could make sure that they are seating next to a close friend or relative that will ensure they wont be left out at any point during the wedding reception.
Taking all of the above into consideration should help you to create the perfect seating plan that’s tailored right for your family, friends and venue!