The seating plan is often left until last when it comes to planning a wedding due to the simple fact that it can be quite a tricky task so couples put it off. Yet it’s an important factor for every guest as it can affect how much they enjoy your wedding day. Read through our tips below for creating a winning seating plan for your wedding reception.
Before you get started, you need to know how many people can fit around each table in your chosen reception venue — this is vital for any seating plan.
Start your seating plan ASAP
If you start your seating plan as soon as you have received all of your RSVPs, then you will have more time to make alterations and move things around before finalising it. If you leave it too late to start, you will have to rush the plan and it might not be as considered as it could have been. It’s always nicer to not rush things too, given the option.
Group friends together
List all of your wedding guests on a Word document, then print them out and cut them out individually. It’s not essential but if you make cardboard shapes for your tables that would also be very helpful in your planning. You could also do all of this on a computer. Now you need to group people together based on how you know them. For example, school friends, university friends, families, work colleagues, etc. Of course, it’s never possible that everyone is able to sit next to who they know, but this method helps you to realise who would be best sat with who ideally.
Decide who you want on your top table
Traditionally the top table seats the bride and groom, the best man, the chief bridesmaid, and both sets of parents. However, this can get tricky when parents have separated — there may be animosity and/or new partners to consider. If there’s some bad blood between your or your partner’s parents, consider having each parent hosting a separate table in front of the top table, or having an extra long top table with those parents at either far end of it. Do what feels right for you and your partner though — it’s your wedding, after all.
Mix it up a bit
In an ideal world you’d be able to fit each group of friends and families perfectly around a table together, however in real life this rarely happens! So, be prepared to mix it up a bit. Think about who knows who, who might get on with who, who would clash, and who needs to be seated on opposite sides of the room from each other. Also consider VIPS — your nearest and dearest should be as close to the top table as possible (if not on it), and those with sight or hearing issues might also benefit from sitting further forward. Don’t be afraid to mix generations either —a mix of ages can work very well.
Consider a kids’ table
If you have several children attending your wedding as guests, it’s worth considering a separate table for them so they can play together. Provide them with activities such as colouring books and crayons, and make sure there are parents nearby to lend a hand if needed.
Consider your guests’ feelings
Don’t have a ‘singles table’ — your friends won’t thank you for it, especially if they don’t end up getting on with Simon from your HR department or Sharon from your yoga class. Mix up married and unmarried couples with singles — but don’t place single guests at a table full of couples. Likewise, a couple might feel out of place at a table full of singles.
Do you have any other tips for couples embarking on a wedding seating plan? Let us know in the comments below.
Looking for the perfect wedding rings for your big day? Check out our selection, here.