So you’ve chosen your dress, picked the shoes, ordered the cake and sent out all the invites. You’re pretty much there with your wedding plans and there are just a few last minute bits and pieces to sort out before the big day.
One of the last few items on your to-do list is the seating plan, but you know that won’t take you long and you’re aiming to get that sorted a few days before the wedding, once you’re pretty certain there won’t be any last minute cancellations. Easy!
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. In reality, the seating plan can often be one of the most trickiest and stressful parts of planning a wedding.
Who knew that Auntie Ethel couldn’t be on the same table as Auntie Joan because they had a falling out a few years ago? Your Best Man’s girlfriend has asked if she can be on the Top Table as well because she doesn’t really know anyone else. You know there isn’t enough space though.
Then there’s the group of nine and group of six work colleagues that you somehow need to get on two tables of eight, but don’t really want to split any of them up.
And what do you do with your five single friends – do you scatter them amongst the couples or sit them together and hope they don’t think you’re trying to matchmake.
Fortunately, by following a few simple tips you can avoid that pre-wedding seating plan nightmare that so many couples face, and enjoy those last few days and evenings instead.
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, start working out who’s sitting where as soon as you can. Maybe even before you’ve got any RSVPs back! There’s bound to be a significant number of friends and family who will almost certainly be coming.
By starting early, you’ve got plenty of time to work out where those troublesome Aunties and Uncles are going to sit, and how you’re going to get your square groups into round holes!
You could have a chat with your venue to see if they could accommodate a few different sized tables as that could make the seating plan much easier to arrange.
Think about guests that may have special requirements too. You may want to sit your older guests away from any speakers for example, or sit older children on a table together perhaps with some colouring books and pencils to help keep them occupied.
Give some thought to your table names too. Instead of giving each table a number (which can imply a perceived hierarchy) give them names instead – places you’ve been visited together, the names of famous couples or even London Underground stations! There are plenty of ideas for table names here.
Finally, consider using seating planning software such as Toptableplanner.
You simply drag your guests and tables around the screen, moving them all around until you’ve created the perfect plan. It’s easy then to load your saved plan at a later date and make any necessary changes.
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Toptableplanner website: http://www.toptableplanner.com.
To give more variety to our readers, I have invited some colleagues from the wedding industry to write guest blogs over the next few months. This week’s guest is Jules Palmer of ECM Wedding Videos.
Yes that’s right as the title suggests I’m a videographer and soon to become a bride again! I have already done this once before (seems like way back in time). But at the good age of 47 I’m about to get hitched for a second time. Ahhhh! One thing I do know is, this time it’s for KEEPS.
Being videographers, we often exhibit at wedding fairs and on Sunday we were invited to the Pavilion Hotel in York to exhibit at theirs’. It was a great day in a lovely setting and the enthusiasm from all you couples was very noticeable. I think the New Year has given everyone a ‘raring to go’ feeling. This is a very good time to plan ahead.
Working in the wedding market has given me lots of ideas for my own wedding and it’s helped me a great deal. Inspiration is all around us and I actually get a lot of mine from having an open mind and being a lover of nature.
This time around, I have a much more relaxed approach, but as you’ve probably guessed most of my thoughts, dreams and actions are very much based on a wedding theme. I realise that with the New Year upon us, I have to take my planning up a notch. My fiancé (Cliff) and I have all the main things booked – though the details are not in place! And after all the pondering and daydreaming, I can allow myself to focus on that all important DRESS!!
But the question everyone keeps asking – How are we going to get our wedding filmed? Hmmm…………..
You can follow further installments of Video Bride’s wedding planning on the ECM Wedding Videos Blog