In need of inspiration and a kick-start? Peep our blog for regular wedding & event planning tips. We share Bumble Events’ gems of knowledge to make your planning experience a little smoother.
I’ve never known an element of wedding planning to cause couples as much angst as working out the seating arrangements. Is it ok for Uncle Bob to be seated next to Aunty Sandra because they had a colossal falling out last Christmas. Should you put Cousin Simon on a table alone with your boss (who you’ve only invited out of a sense of duty and in hope of a pay rise) because they are both belligerent characters who will likely offend your other guests before the day is out!
Not to mention where to seat the guests who you didn’t even want to invite but Mummy Dearest has insisted you accommodate them or risk the threat of being cut off from the family inheritance!
It can all feel a little stressful and get temperatures rising. So in usual form we have thought of some handy pointers to help you plan your wedding or event seating a bit more peacefully!
Get on with organising your seating plan as soon as possible to avoid too much stress. Don’t wait for all the guests to RSVP before you start working it all out.
Make sure you know how many tables you will have as well as how many guests can be seated per table before starting to work out your table plan.
A children’s table is a good idea if you are having younger guests. Position it within easy access to exit points or quiet spaces so that parents can remove any particularly ‘lively’ children during the speeches.
Don’t even think about putting any singletons on the children’s table though – it’s just downright discourteous and they’ll never forgive you!
Who sits where
Keep couples sat together if you can. The exception to this is if you have bridesmaids and groomsmen on their own tables. In most cases guests will prefer to sit with their partner.
DO mix your guests up a bit. It’s nice to keep friends together but a wedding is about two families coming together so be careful not to make it cliquey or create a vibe of exclusion. However DO try to put at least a couple of people who know each other on each table – it’ll help to kick-start conversation. If you have friends who are outgoing and bubbly you can pop them on a table which, otherwise, may be a bit dull.
Don’t stick all the single folk on one table. They are single – they don’t have a contagious disease!
The Head Honchos
A common one that couples forget is the arrangement of the top table seating plan.
Traditionally this table should seat the bride, groom, the bride and grooms’ parents, the best man and the chief bridesmaid, but you don’t have to stick to this! It is common to, where a parent may be deceased, have an uncle or aunt instead.
If you do fancy sticking with tradition, the top table seating order runs from left to right as: chief bridesmaid; groom’s father; bride’s mother; groom; bride; bride’s father; groom’s mother; best man.
Increasingly we see couples opt for a sweetheart wedding table where only the bride and groom are seated. If this sounds more up your street then consider asking each set of parents to host a table of their friends and family or try some of these alternatives to the traditional top table.
Free for All
You could be really radical and opt for no seating plan at all and just let guests sit where they like. One of the downsides of this is that you may get the odd seat here and there where groups of friends congregate together. This means that some unlucky sod, who was in the toilet when everyone starts to sit down, gets forced onto a table where he knows no one.
Do give yourself enough time to approach the task. The seating plan is one of the few areas of your wedding that will likely change right up until the day of the wedding so hire a good wedding planner to be on hand to help manage the stress. We know a few if you’re interested!
Whatever you, make it special to you!