Drawing up the wedding seating plan is understandably stressful, but there are many helpful tricks and tips to help take the edge off the process. Below, we explore our top tips for designing a great seating plan that everyone will enjoy.
Where to start
Before you start drawing up your seating plan, you’ll need to know exactly how many guests are attending your wedding and how much space you will have at the venue for your guests. It’s a good idea to liaise with the venue before you start drawing up your seating plan, in order to save yourself guessing!
Mix and match
It can be tempting to place family members and friends together for your seating plan, and while this is a good move, it’s also a nice idea to mix up guests as well. It’s generally a good idea to sit together family members and close friends, but don’t crowd the table with everyone from the same family or friendship group; take some time to consider people who you think might hit it off, in order to keep the seating arrangements exciting.
Keep the numbers equal
In addition to mixing and matching strangers with friends and family members, it’s a good idea to keep the balance between men and women at each table equal; to encourage a fun, yet relaxed atmosphere. As Rachel Morgan, writer at Wedding Ideas Magazine, explains: “try to make sure all tables have an even number of men and women so you get a good mix of conversation. Things can become a little rowdy with same-sex tables once the alcohol starts flowing!”.
Singletons and couples
While couples should generally always be seated together (one of the few unofficial rules of any wedding seating plan), you may be tempted to place your single friends on the same table. However, this can lead to a little awkwardness and self-consciousness, so it’s best to group people together based on other factors.
The top table
Traditionally, the top table is set as follows: the maid of honour is sat at the left, followed by – the groom’s father, the bride’s mother, the groom, the bride, the bride’s father, the groom’s mother, and the best man.
However, you may like to go for something a little less traditional, such as three or four long tables that will make everyone feel super included. In contrast, you might like to have a small top table for just the two of you. As, Clemmie Millbank, writer at Perfect Wedding Mag, notes: “sometimes it’s nice to catch your breath and have some time just you and your new husband. A ‘sweetheart’ top table allows you to do just that as it a special little space just for you two”.
Create a seating board
Key to any good seating plan, is a thoughtful, creative, and well-designed seating board; which clearly draws out where everyone is sitting, to avoid any confusion wedding day chaos. You can jot your seating arrangements down on colourful cards and pin them to a board in the dining hall. Many couples like to name their seating plans after key relationship events (such as: the first date, the start of the relationship, the date they moved into together, and when they got engaged), important places, or mutual passions.
While your seating plan is important, don’t worry yourself too much about it; everyone is there to toast and celebrate with you and will not stress too much about where they are sat.