How to Create a Seating Plan

The seating plan for your wedding has the potential to cause your biggest headache – keeping your feuding cousins apart while making sure neither feels demoted is just the start. Follow these tips to make it much less painful…

Start the planning ASAP

Start as soon as you’ve sent out the invitations, pruning names as soon as the invitees say they can’t make it. However, don’t get the plans printed up until the very last minute – things can change so be ready to accommodate this.

Try using table names rather than numbers

Numbers look hierarchical, which won’t please those cousins.

Make the chart as large as possible

This means people can see easily which table they’re at, rather than stopping by each table and scanning the names there.

Be flexible

Try a few different versions rather than sticking to one plan. If you’re offering a buffet or it’s a small event, then you might be able to do away with a plan altogether.

Don’t play matchmaker

We know it’s a wedding, but singles won’t appreciate being seated next to your idea of their perfect man or woman!

Do it for the kids

Make sure younger children are with their parents, but a great idea is to sit older children together at their own special table, complete with party packs.

Easy access

If you’ve got a good age range at your wedding, make sure that older and younger people, as well as wheelchair users and pregnant women have easy access to the bathrooms and the exits.

The top table

The traditional layout may simply not be an option within your family, so don’t be scared to do something different.

Male to female

You don’t have to alternate men and women, either, if it won’t always work.

Group hug

Do keep groups together if possible, though – colleagues, college chums and so on. Keep couples together as well, unless one half is the chief bridesmaid or best man.

Create harmony

Put strangers together if you know they’d get on, but ensure that everyone knows at least one person on their table. Don’t have any more than nine or ten people per table, though, as it gets too crowded to talk.

Make your tables work

The tables closest to the top are for the closest family and friends, and ask if your venue can arrange for different-sized tables if it makes your plan easier.

Go with your instincts

You’ll already have a good idea of who will get on with who (or not) so go with the flow.

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