How to create a table plan
Anyone who’s ever planned a wedding is likely to agree that one of the most stressful aspects of finalising the big day is creating a table plan. It’s a social minefield, particularly when you’re trying to accommodate people who don’t know anyone else, or you’re having to make sure two people who don’t get on are sufficiently far apart. You don’t have to stick rigidly with tradition when it comes to seating plans, but here are a few tips to bear in mind to make the process a little easier.
Start with the top table. Traditionally this is reserved for the bridal party: the newlyweds and their parents, the chief bridesmaid and best man. However, it all depends on your own family dynamics. If you have children, for example, you may wish them to be at the top table with you while you put the chief bridesmaid and best man on a table with their other halves.
Sit friends together
People can relax and enjoy themselves more around people they know, so try to make sure that guests are sitting at least some people they know. That’s not to say that you can’t mix tables up a bit; a mix of strangers and friends could work well if you think that interests and personalities would match. Always sit couples next to each other.
Balance men and women
As far as possible, keep tables balanced with an equal number of men and women. Set places alternating between male and female.
Don’t make single people feel awkward
Tempting though it is to lump all the single people onto one table, or even to play matchmaker with your friends, it can be a recipe for awkwardness for those involved. Rather than making them feel the odd ones out, try to intermingle likeminded singles and couples and try to ensure that there’s never just one single person on a table otherwise full of couples.
Don’t forget to create a seating chart so that your guests know where they’ll be sitting. Create matching table numbers and place cards to avoid confusion.