Having an organised seating plan for your wedding will definitely help everything run smoothly and means your guests can avoid the mad havoc of trying to find a seat. If you think about it, your meal times and speeches are a large portion of the night - around 3 hours - so it's important you get it right!
It would be a good idea to start organising your seating plan as soon as humanly possible, to avoid that last-minute stress. Don't make the rookie mistake of waiting for your first RSVP's to come trickling in, it will only end in a crazy rush before the big day when there are other important things to get through. You can always swap and change a few things later on - like short notice +1's!
Honestly, this should of been done for your signed your venue contract but in case you forgot always double-check the capacity of your chosen venue. You need to take into account the size and shape of the tables. (We love the idea of round tables, it makes for interaction between the guests much easier) Also if you pack too many people in too close, your guests will most likely feel claustrophobic and you don’t want everyone pushing their chairs back and bashing into people.
Try to avoid placing everyone in family groups, this means that people lose the chance to mingle. On the other hand, don’t place people together who don’t know each other from a bar of soap as that can lead to awkwardness. Always opt to find a balance between your guests ages, personalities and interests.
As a rule of thumb, guests who attend your wedding with a partner are always seated together. Although match-making might seem fun, don’t force it on your guests or make it super obvious as this will only cause a whole lot of stiffness during the meal.
There will come a time in the planning phase where you will feel like throwing the seating plan at the wall. Please don't even consider not having a seating plan though, it may seem like the best option in the moment but it's not so great for your guests. You will have indecisive guests trolling around the venue looking for an open place to seat themselves - this will not make a happy guest and often leads to a lag in proceedings.
We know it seems like a dream to have a special table consisting of only you and your spouse but this often is at the cost of excluding your family from your table. Not only can it offend them, but your guests could feel slightly uncomfortable to congratulate you as you may seem a bit unapproachable. However, if this is something you're not prepared to budge on- it does make for an uber romantic ambiance with masses of candles and decor just for the two of you.
Remember to try not over-think it, spending hours staring at your seating plan, adding and deleting people will literary make you moggy. Attempt to set aside an hour or two every other evening to go over it with your hubby-to-be and then just leave it be.
If you're left needing some extra help making your seating plan a little extra creative, take a look at Oh Yay on our website. Their seating plan styles are swoon-worthy!