Wedding seating plans can be a massive headache so we wanted to investigate what makes for a good plan! Many of your guests will be anxiously awaiting to see who they’re paired with on the table plan. What if I’m sat with strangers? What if I’m sat with auntie Deb and she gets trashed? The struggle is real, but the final decision is in your hands!
Before you start drawing out your wedding seating plan and putting sticky tabs everywhere, what’s your meal plan like? If you have a buffet style wedding plan, you might be able to chuck the plan altogether and say “we’re all family now, so take a seat not a side” and let that be done. Oh the simplicity… it’s music to our ears.
However, if you have a meal and courses scheduled, listen up because this might just give you some inspiration.
The Top Table
The top table can be pretty stressful but it’s a great place to start. It can be tricky though, especially if your parents are split and don’t talk or you have an ENORMOUS wedding party. Placing people can be so difficult. A lot of couples are opting for sweetheart tables now as it gives you a small bit of privacy. The tables allow you and your new wife/husband to sit together and watch everyone and chat about the day so far. It can be super intimate and romantic.
If you want to go totally traditional, keep it as your parents (if they’re separated on bad terms, mix the pairings) your best man, maid of honour and your kiddos if you have any. You could always have a small direct table adjacent to the top for your children if it’s looking a little packed.
You can make it super fun with lots of drawing packs and table games for them, they won’t even miss the grown up table!
Family dynamics are difficult aren’t they? No matter how tight nit your family is, there’s always a strange uncle or that cousin that likes to get a little too wild… Let it be known that you are not alone. These people are hard to place and hard to cater for.
We say keep it simple. Put people together with people they know, it’s the simplest way to make sure everyone has a good time and ensures beautiful smiley photos, instead of awkward grins. We’re big fans of chucking in wild cards too, those chatty friends of yours? Don’t be scared to chuck them in with your auntie and uncle. People who draw out conversation will genuinely do this anywhere and they’ll be more likely to make the effort for your wedding.
If you do have odd singles who you find difficult to place – put them with people of a similar age group or with people you know have similar interests. Sometimes these people really respond well to ice breaker cards and it may serve you well to have a couple dotted around the tables. We liked these ice breakers from Etsy.
Get people talking about the mundane and they will surprise you!
If there are some family feuds that are unresolved many of our couples have placed the offending parties at opposite sides of the room. They have then used the middle section of the room to seat neutral friends and act as a friendly barrier! It sounds crazy but it’s genuinely something we have seen.
Table names or numbers?
Some people are just totally down for table numbers and that’s fine. If however, you want that extra bit of personal thrown in at your weddings – maybe you could do your favourite book titles or the places you’ve both visited, complete with cheeky holiday snaps! Your guests will love looking around at these and they make for beautiful decor pictures.
We’ve had people organise their tables by football teams and even bench marks in their relationships. When it comes to your table plans anything goes. One of our previous couples, Amy and Josh went with relationship bench marks for their table names, it was so personal and worked really well. If you want to check it out, here’s the blog ✨
If you’re stuck on ideas for how to create your wedding seating plan we recommend looking at Etsy. They have some gorgeous DIY printable seating plans that aren’t too expensive. Alternatively, depending on the company you used for your invitations, they may also be able to quote you for this. This ensures that all your stationary is consistent. One of our couples used their stationary company Frog and Pencil and their table plan was so beautiful.
When to start planning⚡️
You can never start planning your wedding seating plan too early! Seriously, take it from a girl who only remembered a week and a half before her wedding that people needed somewhere to sit… oh the agony!! Once final numbers are confirmed, hit that planning hard!
Special catering requirements
Make sure any people with special requirements are catered for and clearly marked for staff before the day. My husbands cousin is severely autistic and he was sure as heck certain he was not eating our hog roast. He wanted pizza and we made sure he got his wish. We even asked them to slightly charcoal it, just the way he likes. You’re welcome Bob, we love ya! If your nan struggles to move through crowds, make sure she’s at a table with great access to the bathroom and the bar! (Most importantly the bar right?).
Are you feeding your vendors? If so – first up, love you! We really appreciate you thinking of us and seriously who doesn’t love wedding food? It might be worth asking if they’d like to sit in the bar (which is the norm) or with guests. Even when you know your photographers, sometimes there is nothing more daunting for your guests than having them at their table while they’re eating! Don’t worry guys we know nobody wants to see you with gravy down your chin. But some people see dinner as a bit of a respite from the hectic wedding day and we totally respect that. On the other hand, we’ve sat at tables with some cracking guests who’ve made us cry with laughter and by the end of the night they’ve become our pals. Just something to consider. Please don’t feel obliged to put us on a table though.
Paper RSVPS are not for everyone. If I had a pound for every time someone said they hadn’t heard back from all their guests I’d be rich. Maybe consider online RSVP’s? We found With Joy offers a free service. Some wedding directories also have them. A simple tick, click and submit and you’ve got your answers. Save the paper for your older family members, they appreciate the tradition and the sentiment.
We hope that this has helped you out! Or at least given you a few pointers. Ultimately, just know it’s your day. So do it your way! If you come up with anymore ideas or have suggestions to make, feel free to contact us over on our page https://laceandlowephotography.co.uk/contact-us
Check out some of our favourite stationary.