Organising your table plan can be a tricky part of your wedding as you will want to try and please everyone! Start by adding up the total number of guests attending your wedding and then working out how many tables you will roughly have and how many seats per table there will be. This will give you something to work when you start making your ‘groups’.Next make 3 separate lists; the bride’s family and friends, the groom’s family and friends, and shared friends who can be split either way. Put the people who are most closest to you at the top with the people less close to you at the bottom. From this list start working out groups of people that will ‘gel’ well should they be seated together. This could be made up of 1 family group and a couple of friends to make the numbers up or for instance, 2 family groups if you can get the numbers to add up to fit with the seating allocated for each table. Try and then arrange your tables so the people who are closest to you are near the front (or top table), and people who are less close being at the back (usually friends).
Wedding Top Table
With the hard bit out of the way your top table should be a breeze in comparison if you follow what traditions dictate. The top table usually seats the wedding party and is a long table with seats along the one side facing out towards the rest of the guests.
If you want to arrange the seating on your top table in the traditional way then you need to take the following into consideration;
• The groom sits to the right of the bride
• Partners of the Best man and Chief bridesmaid sit at other tables
• Places alternate male-female
If you have close family members that aren’t part of the wedding party then you should seat them as close to the top table as possible. This can happen in particular when there are parents that are divorced or re-married or if either the bride or groom have children from previous relationships.
Table Numbers & Place cards
Now you have organised your table plan you will need to make sure your guests can find their table and sit in the correct place at the table. This is achieved by using large table numbers that are usually elevated in a tall metal holder on each table, making it clear for your guests to see where they’re going. Once you’ve got your guests to the table you need to ensure that they sit in the seat that was intended for them, this can be done by putting a place card with their name on in the allocated place setting.
To ensure the smooth running of this at your venue, make sure your ushers are available to help those guests that are unsure or a little over whelmed by everything that is going on.
My final top tip
No one likes to see their name spelt incorrectly, especially at a wedding so check the spellings of any names that have variations or names that are unusual or foreign before you get your table plan printed as this could end to be a costly mistake if you have to get it re-printed.