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10 Ways To Perfect Your Wedding Seating Plan

Time to take on the wedding seating plan? Let us lend you a helping hand. From grouping your guests to naming the tables, find out how to perfect your wedding seating plan in 10 easy steps with expert know-how from Revelry Events, winner of the London Wedding Planner of the Year, 2017.

1. Start early!

Xander & Thea | Revelry Events

You can’t leave this job to the last minute – as much as you might want to put it off. So as soon as you have most of your RSVPs (or even before then) start mapping out the tables. Be aware that things could change so allow yourself enough time to make any necessary adjustments – including a few days there and there to let off a bit of steam! Then go back to it. And remember, your suppliers – like the caterer and stationer – will need to know the final wedding seating plan a good few weeks before the big day.

 

2. Map it out with pencil and paper

Xander & Thea | Revelry Events

Go low-tech for your first few goes – use pencil and paper or sticky notes before graduating to anything more permanent, and definitely don’t go to print until you really have to.

 

3. Group your guests – without leaving anyone behind

Branco PrataRevelry Events

It makes sense to naturally group people together – uni friends, distant family, colleagues – but bear in mind that there will always be stragglers. Resist the urge to put all the ‘odd’ guests on one table unless you really have to. Instead, try and fit them in with other groups. Your neighbours might have the perfect sense of humour for your work friends, and your cousin and his wife that you’ve never met before could have a lot in common with some of your friends from school – you get the picture.

 

4. Make way for modern families

Dealing with divorced parents or feuding relatives? You have two options. The first is to figure out a wedding seating plan which places those people are as far away from each other as possible, and the second is to ask everyone if they could put aside their differences for one day as a gift to you.  Be amenable and considerate to an extent, but don’t bend over backwards for others – remember, this is your special day.

 

5. Kit out the kids

If there’s kids at the reception, you might want to seat them all together with their own menu and fun table games. If they’re sitting on the main tables with the adults, remember to ask their parents if they require a high-chair from the venue or caterer.

 

6. Give your guests enough elbow room

Be aware of table sizes when prepping your wedding seating plan. A 6ft round table can comfortably seat 10 people, maybe 12 at a push. A rectangle trestle table will seat three each side, and one on each end.

 

7. Mix it up!

Branco PrataRevelry Events

Round tables not working for you? Mix it up! Include some round tables of 10, a big square table made up of trestles to seat 16, or long rows of as many as you like – whatever works in your venue! Don’t be afraid to experiment.  

 

8. Name your tables

Names or numbers? It’s the eternal seating plan debate! While numbers are easier and more logical, they can also indicate hierarchy (table 15 may assume you’re not thinking too highly of them) so opt for names instead. They do require a bit more thought and creativity, but they eliminate any question of importance – meaning everyone’s happy!

 

9. Make sure everyone’s seats work for them

Branco PrataRevelry Events

Once you’ve figured out who is sitting on which table (well done you!), then it’s time to consider where exactly each person should sit. You may not think it matters but too much but it’s important to give it a little extra thought – for example, if you have older guests or those with disabilities, make sure they’re facing the head table. When it comes to speeches and generally admiring the newly-weds, you won’t want them to be straining their necks for long periods of time.

 

10. Take on head table dilemmas

The head table can be one of the trickiest parts of the wedding seating plan – especially if you have lots of important guests! From parents’ new partners to huge hordes of siblings or bridesmaids, it can be difficult to know who to include. However, depending on your venue, your head table can be as big or as small as you want. A super-long, double-sided table works best for big bridal parties, or – if you want to be diplomatic – sit with your parents, your best man and your maid of honour. If that doesn’t work, sit with whoever you like – in fact, some couples even opt for a sweetheart table for just the two of them!

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