Planning Tips for Seating Guests
Wedding guests seating planning is a logistical nightmare in the best of circumstances. World War II’s Dunkirk evacuation was perhaps easier to organise than some wedding table plans.
Your wedding day should be the best day of your life – and not be one beset by trouble and strife. But if your background is less than straightforward than that could be what’s in store.
The Card Gallery.com cites the Office for National Statistics who say that ‘since 1996, the number of unmarried parents bringing up children has doubled. When both the bride and bridegroom’s parents enjoy traditionally conventional marriages, there doesn’t tend to be any problems when it comes to deciding who sits at the top table at a wedding. However, things can be a little trickier when it comes to dealing with parents who are separated or divorced – especially if they have new partners.’
It’s all too common for families to forget just whose wedding it is and start making demands on who sits where and with whom.
So, if you don’t want to run off on your own and get married on a desert island or simply take everyone down the pub after the ceremony what can you do to deal with table planning problems?
- ‘My parents are divorced so the traditional top table layout isn’t good for us.’
If they’re really not amenable to you having one long-top table with everyone on it together – new partners and all – then do something different.
- Ask your parents to each host their own table while you and your fiancé/husband could sit on a table with the groomsmen and the bridesmaids.
- You and your spouse move around your tables with each course so that you sit with different people.
- Seat the disagreeing parties on separate tables but close to the head table and with equally important relatives.
- Have a buffet and let everyone sit where they want.
- ‘One of my friends is coming without a plus 1 and doesn’t know anyone. How should I seat her?’
If you can, place her on a table where there’s a couple of other single guests. But avoid creating a whole ‘singles’ table. It might feel a bit like a speed dating event if that happens.
And think about who in your friendship group or family she might get along with and seat her with them.
- We’re having a separate children’s table. Where’s the best place to put it and should we have supervisory adults on it?
According to Plan Your Perfect Wedding.com it’s a good idea to: Put your children’s table close to the door, so troublesome young guests can be whipped out quickly if they start misbehaving!
But try to avoid putting adults on it – it’s hardly going to be fun for them is it? Besides, younger children needing help eating should be on a table with their parents. Keep the children’s table for the seven-twelve age group
To prevent teenagers dying with embarrassment seat them either on a separate table or with younger adult friends.
- You’ve got twelve university friends coming and your tables seat ten.
Don’t, whatever you do, separate two friends out from the fun. Instead split a large, close group (whether family or friends) in two and pair with another group they might have common ground with. Your cousins for example. Then the whole gang can reconvene on the dance floor.
- Your parents are paying for the wedding and want to invite a bunch of people you don’t know and have no clue where to seat!
Ask your parents to help! They invited them – so let them sort that one out.
- You’ve already changed the seating plan more times than enough and you’re about to explode.
Take a deep breath and walk away and take a reality check: This is just one meal. When dinner is done and the speeches are made your guests will be on the dance floor, in the bar and circulating round tables and they’ll have a great time.
And so will you.
Hiring a venue stylist such as ourselves can relieve your stress level, let you enjoy your wedding planning journey and ultimately your wedding day.