So you’ve sent your beautiful invitations, a super exciting step heading towards your very special day…
& now, the RSVPs are spiralling in…
But where do you seat all of your guests for your very exciting meal?
It can sometimes feel a little overwhelming, but with these simple steps, your table planning will run seamlessly!
Okay, let’s go!
First things first, the floor plan! You may have a completely blank canvas or the room may already be set up for you, whatever it may be, you need to find out whether you’re having round or long tables, a top table or potentially dismissing that altogether – & then how many people each table can seat. Pay attention to any pillars the room may have and make sure there is enough space for chairs to be pulled out and also room for serving staff to easily be able to work around your tables.
So, you now know what tables and how many people per table you are working with – let’s figure out where YOU are going to sit! After all, you and your partner are the most important couple of the day! This goes without saying, but this is completely your decision and you have to sit where it feels right for you both. It may be that you don’t want to go with tradition and have a top table and the bride & groom’s families sitting on either side of you, and that is more than okay! Work out where YOU want to sit and who you want around you, make sure your family knows where they are sitting ahead of your special day, so as to arouse no surprise on the day!
Now, this is where it can get a little tricky… Perhaps it may be easiest to collate people into groups. For example, the bride’s family, groom’s family, joint friends, work friends etc – try to overlap those that have a connection and may know each other a little. There may be a few of your guests who don’t necessarily ‘fit’ into any of your ‘categories’ and that’s okay, use these on the tables that may be a little smaller in size! Don’t forget this is the step that would be perfect to name or number your tables, some couples like to use special family members names or perhaps things, destinations, cuisines you both love!
Ok, so all of your guests have a specific table! But whereabouts in the room do they go?! Let’s start with ‘Table 1’ (although you may call this something else!) This is typically the next most important table to your top table…AKA close family. Swiftly followed by any wedding party guests that may not be on the top table. Then perhaps more family, then working your way through your friendship groups. However you know your room layout and you may prefer certain groups to be nearer the top table than this, especially if you think they may help toast and clap the speeches along!
It’s key to note any key guests, i.e. father or mother of the bride, best man or woman, groom, are in a central position to be able to deliver their special speeches! Make sure to factor this in, along with any potential politics… Perhaps family ‘history’ that may cause tension. Try to keep these guests a little distance away from each other. No one wants any drama! Hopefully, it will allow the room to have a beautiful, relaxed atmosphere so everyone can enjoy every single second. Again, maybe mention your seating intentions to your family ahead of the day to save any last-minute issues or awkwardness.
Then, make it official! Try drawing out your table plan, pencil usually works best! A diagram will help you visualise the room and make any tweaks you need to do. Double, triple, quadruple check your hard work and maybe even get a fresh pair of eyes to have a little check through your plan and all guests names are correct, perhaps your maid of honour? Once confirmed, type this up! Excel is your best friend for this. Easy to use and you can lay the tables out how you want. Make sure to email this to your stationer with plenty of time for the print deadline! Don’t forget to send a copy of your table plan to your wedding planner so they can lay the tables exactly as you want – make sure you highlight exactly where you’re sitting so they can work from you, outwards!
After carefully layout out your special table plan, take a little drink, celebrate and relax – your special day is going to be truly amazing! There may be last-minute changes, but rest assured you have 100% got this!
To learn more about my approach and services, please complete an enquiry form and we can arrange a complimentary consultation to come up with a perfect plan tailored to you and your partner, or email [email protected] – I’d love to help!