A proper guide to planning your wedding.
No flowery adverbs or prose, just good clear information
For a lot of couples organising the wedding breakfast seating plan can cause a lot of friction and arguments, not just with each other but with family also. This also ends up making what should be a short task time consuming and draining. Keep it simple, do not involve others in your decisions and I promise it will be stress-free. The article below is designed to give straightforward guidance to follow so you can remain argument free.
This trendy idea is gaining popularity with brides and grooms as it seems like a stress-free alternative. However, this is guaranteed to add stress and anxiety to your guests on the day. This idea will push people you care about back into the school dinner hall mentality: The well-known guests will fill up tables quickly, save chairs and those who know fewer people will instantly feel unpopular and isolated.
Do avoid doing this and instead follow the below steps to make planning your seating plan straightforward.
People that dislike each other or those that do not get along should be seated at different tables. It may be one day, but it should nevertheless be a good day for all. For everyone else, try to portion that a few people know each other on each table or, where possible, allow a table to consist of entirely one friendship group.
It is important to remember the day is your celebration, but it's not a day to force people outside their comfort boundaries. Do not be scared to have unequally weighted tables, believe me; no one will care or even notice. Avoid the singles table. Guests will quickly figure this out and feel rather embarrassed. Lastly, do not stress over this stage too much; the wedding breakfast lasts a certain amount of time, and your guests will sort themselves out.
• Vista print’s online tool enables creation of foam boards to suit any style or colour, and table lists can be directly glued or pinned to these.
• Wilkinson and the more extensive supermarkets stock sizeable multiple photo frames, and table lists can be added to each separate frame (these frames can then be re-used for wedding photos)
• For a rustic approach, table lists can be pegged to string and hung along a backboard
• Another fashionable design is to use a world map and name tables according to places you have visited as a couple (cheap maps can be found in a wrapping paper shop)
Before deciding on an approach, it is worth checking with the venue about where seating plan boards usually go, in case you can use their equipment.
As with anything containing the word ‘wedding', there are an enormous amount of businesses that either market themselves as trendy or niche and charge an exuberate amount for what can be made quickly and relatively cheaply. Below is a simple method to make low-cost place cards:
1. Business cards folded in half lengthwise make an ideal place card size/shape and business cards in any design can be ordered blank online very cheaply. Make sure to remove all text and just have a single side print with your wedding theme or colour (in a light colour).
2. Add names with a permanent black Calligraphy marker (these can be bought for under £2 in any stationary shop). Or print names from your printer onto Avery address labels and stick these on the business cards.
A lot of couples get concerned that their guests may not have a good time or that conversations at the tables may be limited. If this is a concern you share, then try one of the below tried and tested methods to get the chat going:
• Planting a short trivia quiz can get a group of relative strangers laughing in no time at all
• Giving a table a quick quiz on the bride/groom can be a fun conversation starter
• Make sure that centrepieces do not limit conversation across the table
• In between courses have a walk around and chat with tables, the conversations you start will continue long after you've gone
• Play upbeat background music; this will encourage guests to feel that discussions will not break silence and will keep people in the party spirit
• Naming tables and grouping guests who occupy seats by a common theme can help to skip initial introductions and allow guests to build commonality instantly
The shape of the top table is a personal preference and check what your venue will accommodate first. Remember this is your day and whatever will mean that you get the most enjoyment out of your wedding breakfast is the only consideration to base your decision on. It is traditional to have a straight top table, but there are plenty of examples to challenge the critics.
From my own experience, a circle table made our families feel free to talk to each other and not merely feel that they were on display.
Have you read our other pages?