As a multi-award-winning wedding event planner, I can tell you there’s one area of your wedding planning that’s ALWAYS likely to cause at least a little anxiety, and that’s creating your wedding seating plan!
Deciding where to sit your wedding guests and who they are best placed to enjoy the wedding breakfast with, as well as navigating the politics of family tensions and friendship drama, it’s no wonder this task can feel a little daunting. So, today, I will share my top tips to help you get your wedding seating plan (aka the table plan) in order. Let’s do this!
1. The Wedding Event Planner – Get Organised!
Firstly, I know that this task isn’t the must aspect of planning your wedding, but it is a necessity. Unless you’ve chosen to allow wedding guests to sit wherever they like (which, as a wedding event planner, I’d strongly advise against!), you will need to tackle this task as your wedding draws ever closer.
Firstly, collate all of your rsvp’s, regardless of whether you received a paper acceptance or simply a notification by text or email. This is also the final opportunity to chase any stragglers who haven’t rsvp’d yet. It’s also when you’ll need to carefully check the details, for example, ensuring guests haven’t included plus ones or children if they haven’t been invited (it happens surprisingly often!).
This is also the perfect time to collate any dietary requirements for your caterer.
2. Choose your seating plan format!
While many One Curious Dream Wedding Planning clients use post-it notes to plan their wedding seating plan, many of my clients also prefer digital methods, such as an excel spreadsheet or word document. In addition, there are some fantastic online apps that you can track changes and update on the go, which appeals to anybody with a busy lifestyle – you!
The next stage is to confirm how many people you can sit at each of the tables you’ve hired or come with your venue. Table sizes vary for each wedding event, but as a general rule, 72″ round tables will seat 10 to 12 wedding guests, and 60″ round tables will seat 8 to 10 guests. Rectangular tables will usually seat six guests, whilst 8′ banquet tables will generally seat eight guests. Do check with your wedding planner, wedding hire co, or wedding venue, though!
3. Planning the seating plan!
Now we’re into trickier territory! This is where you are going to start seating your wedding guests in their respective seats. I always advise my wedding planning couples to seat their guests in order of importance. I know you love all of your wedding guests, but let’s be honest, Geoff from your fiance’s office that you’ve met once doesn’t deserve the same ranking as your bridesmaid, does he?
When it comes to creating your top table, anything goes. Although, traditionally, it would include both parents and at least some bridal party, don’t be afraid to break the rules. Lots of One Curious Dream couples are now opting for sweetheart tables to keep things incredibly simple.
4. Communicate with your wedding event planner!
Once you’ve completed your seating plan, you’ll need to share this with your wedding planner, wedding venue and wedding stylist. It’s also worth creating a sketch of the wedding breakfast space with where you would like each specific table to be placed. This is especially important if you’ve chosen table names rather than numbers. As a wedding event planner, I’d usually work in number order (1 is closest to the top table) and if table names, in alphabetical order unless otherwise instructed. But, of course, if you’re working with a wedding planner, we’ll take care of these details for you anyway!
If you’d like to chat about the plans for your wedding, I’d love to hear from you! You can reach me on 0800 772 0765 or firstname.lastname@example.org or book a free, no-obligation marquee wedding planning consultation here.
As an Elite member of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners, (the only East of England Wedding Planner with this accreditation) I work in accordance with a strict code of conduct and do not accept commission or referral fees for making my supplier recommendations. Working from the One Curious Dream HQ in Norwich, the heart of Norfolk, I plan and design amazing weddings for couples across London, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge and Essex, as well as further afield throughout the UK.