by Sara Whatley
You’ve set the date, booked the venue, received your RSVPs and sorted out the caterers, now you just need to do the simple task of finding a seat for everybody…
When making the perfect seating plan for your wedding, a little military modus operandi is in order. What appears to be a fairly simple task at first inspection can actually be quite a feat of achievement, but very satisfying indeed when you sit back on the day and look over a sea of happily chatting guests. This is, after all, the main aim of a seating plan, aside from the practicality of providing every bottom with a perch!
There are various ways to tackle the subject. Let’s start by breaking it down with a few key points to take into consideration:
- The shape of the room you will be in
- he shape of the tables available to you
- The number of guests you have
- Where you want the top table to be
Once you have the basics of table placement, and you have worked out how many guests need to go on each table, then it’s time to get creative. Some of us may remember Monica in Friends making the seating plan for her wedding, complete with a model of the tables and a little pin to represent each guest. Although this seems a little crazy and perhaps over the top, it’s actually a very practical way to go about things because trust me, you will be moving the guests about like it’s a never ending game of musical chairs.
When doing the plan for our own wedding, we spent many an hour sketching out the tables and writing in the names of the guests, only to scribble them out and move them around again. I often thought enviously about those moveable pins during that time.
Along with some practical considerations such as ease of access for less mobile guests and fast escape routes for children, you need to think about things such as whether you want to keep family and friends separate, or mingle them in together; tactfully putting people together who will get on well, and making sure everyone knows at least one person near them. Who do you put near the mad old great-aunt who could drink a sailor under the table? Or the uncle who likes the sound of his own voice a little too much? Play it safe and surround them with forgiving family members, or be bold and go for the unexpected. We found that these combinations sometimes get on the best – a gentleman of the older variety sitting with a feisty, young friend from university days may not be your classic pairing, but they might just get on like a house on fire. Matchmaking is also always fun; subtly place some singles next to each other with a group of fun friends and watch the sparks fly.
Whatever you do, try not to lose any sleep over the seating plans. Just remember that all the guests are there to have a good time, and even if firm new friendships are not made, they can soon get up and mingle on the dance floor.