Top tips for sorting your seating plan

Breakfast seating

How can you make everyone happy? You can’t make a ‘wedding’ omelette without breaking eggs after all! Inevitably, the issue with composing your seating plan for your wedding is that you’ll have to put some people in a less than desirable spot, whether that’s because they’re a long way away from the top table or right next to the loos! You might also need to prevent warring grannies from getting on each other’s nerves whilst making sure that they have equally prime spots. Not to mention making sure your friends have good seats without putting any relative’s nose out of joint. Deciding how and where to seat your guests is a real conundrum so here are a few pointers to get you started.

First of all, where do you put people?

Once you have received all of the confirmation RSVPs and you know how many people are coming to your Big Day, you can get working on cracking the puzzle which is the seating plan.

Make sure you have plenty of time and paper when you start trying to decide where to put people. Definitely don’t leave it up until the week of the wedding! There’ll be so much going on with the finishing touches that you’ll want to have done your table plan long before. You can start working on your table plan almost straight away, as you’ll know which members of your immediate families will be attending.

Try to mix up your tables – with groups of family and friends on both sides, so that everyone has a chance to meet.

Don’t forget boy/girl/boy/girl across the tables to keep the conversation equal, as well as flowing!

Traditionally, the tables closest to the top table are for family members and other people very close to the bride and groom.

Table Names are another way of heightening your theme. It’s also a good way to avoid a hierarchy, which can happen with table numbers. Tables with numbers like 2 and 3 can be considered to be the most sought after tables. Table Names avoid that happening and you can really have some fun together.

The Top Table is probably the easiest table to arrange, even if your parents are divorced, or both of your parents are.

Traditionally the top table is arranged as follows: Maid of Honour, groom’s father, bride’s mother, the groom, the bride, the bride’s father, the groom’s mother and the Best Man.

Bride and groom seats

Fabulous table plan ideas

There’s also the dilemma of how you let people know where they will be sitting. There are so many amazing, artistic ways of doing this now. Long gone are the days of simply having a big plain board with the table numbers on and lists of people names underneath. Table plans can be altered to suit any theme .

You can design a table plan around using any plants, pretty shabby chic mirrors or even exciting themes like Star Wars, Harry Potter, vintage movie posters, etc. It just takes a little bit of creative thinking. If you decide to make it yourself then invest in some excellent craft utensils, like strong scissors, fabric glue, an easel and a glue gun.

Writing the table numbers and places names onto long plant label type cards and inserting them into pots of flowers kills two birds with one stone providing you with a centre piece for your entrance as well as an unusual table plan feature. For a summer wedding, this look will also bring a taste of the outside into inside.

Blackboards are an easy, budget friendly way of showing your guests where they will be enjoying your delicious wedding breakfast, laughing and crying during the speeches and finally where they will be resting their feet after too much dancing! You can use blackboards for a huge variety of signage welcoming your guests to your day.

Photo frames are uniquely simple yet fabulous idea to show your guests where they will be sat. You could mix up your collection of mini frames (one for each table with the table name in a larger font at the top the list) with family photos and photos of the two of you as babies, children and students as well as photos of you as a couple.

One of the new trends in seating plans is to outsource the task to a professional. This is a great idea if you aren’t the most artsy bride, groom or MOH.

Alternatively, you could choose not to have a seating plan; instead allowing people to choose where they want to sit. There are some cute ways of letting your guests know that this is the case, for example:

If that seems too bold for you and your families then @confettidaydreams has an excellent idea which strikes a happy medium, “Assign your guests a table, not a seat.”

If you have any questions relating to having your wedding at Clearwell Castle, please don't hesitate to call Charlotte via the contact details below:


T: 01594 832 320

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