In the third of our wedding dilemmas one of the most complicated tasks “The Table Plan”!
The table plan can be one of the most stressful wedding planning tasks and timed so badly when all the collecting of things and last-minute jobs are being done we have the table plan to put together. It would be great not to have one and to save the headache of planning it, I do wonder how that works as I can imagine people moving seats and tables to sit near people they know. I am yet to go to a sit down meal wedding with no table plan so genuinely I’m guessing on this one – anyone who has been to one any comments and views below would be much appreciated!
Other ways to help with the tables working out in even numbers can be to mix people up a bit. I have been to two weddings where this has happened and I have to say despite some of our below past brides worries we had a fabulous time at both (although anyone who knows me will know that talking admittedly isn’t an issue for me!). Wedding number one was my lovely friend Becki who I know had friends in different groups due to going away to uni and then moving to another city entirely after this. Becki sat friends in couples with at least one other couple they knew already and then some other friends – it worked really well as you already have one thing in common the bride & groom and fabulous stories to share about them as well as being able to put faces to names the bride and groom have mentioned in passing over the years. As soon as the meal was over people did mingle a lot and I think this is partly due to moving around to chat with friends on other tables. The second wedding was my cousins – we really didn’t know any of my cousins friends and were attending with my sister and her husband and my dad and his partner so assumed we would be seated together. My dad and partner were actually seated with some of his half cousins he hadn’t seen in years and we were sat with my sister and husband and the grooms cousins, again we had a fabulous time and it’s nice to have met some lovely people. People worry far too much about seating people together it is perhaps an hour or so of a full day and so really won’t prove disastrous as long as the pairings are considered!
As always in our dilemmas features below are what some past brides thought about mixing guests up and their table plan headaches!:
“I tended to seat people who knew each other together which i felt would promote a more relaxed atmosphere as conversation would be more free-flowing rather than awkward small talk! There seemed no point mixing up because I’d doubt anyone would make life long friends out of it or stay in contact. There were some tables where I had to put guests who did not know each other together. In these cases I tended to put them together according to age and if I thought they would get on with each other. ”
” I think the kindest thing to do is put people together who know one another or at least you think may get on, it’s a long time to be sat around with people you don’t know!”
“Table plan was probably the biggest challenge of all, we must have changed our table plan at least 10 times and considered mixing things up, eventually we decided we wanted our guests to feel as comfortable as possible so put guests together that already knew each other.”
” I found the table planning the most stressful thing as I tried to keep family together and groups of friends that knew each other together, but did have to mix a few in the end. I thought as long as they were on a table with at least one other couple they knew it was fine. ”
“table planning was a bit of a pain with a couple of people whose paths shouldn’t cross. In the end people were grouped and a homemade sign was stuck to an empty wine bottle to point people to the right table….. We had a table from each of our work places, a friends table and a family table.”
All our brides at least agree that it’s one of the most stressful tasks and neatly fitting the tables to be as even as possible can result in lots of complicated sketches and crossings out here are suggestions to help save the forest of paper and the headache!
The techy but easy to use way: Top Table Planner
We love this software for only £10 you have 6 months access to this software that does all of the below for you:
- Easily drag and drop guests and tables
- Import guestlists from Word or Excel
- Different types and sizes of table
- Round, square and rectangular
- Store guest meal choices and RSVPs
- Highlight different guest types
- Add cake/gift tables, dance floors etc
- Give each table its own unique name
- Easily add and remove seats from existing tables
- Print table plans from A4/Letter right up to A1 size (examples on their website)
- Print your own place cards
- Print escort cards
- Print a guestlist showing who’s at eachttps://aatnweddingfavours.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1406&action=edith table (useful for handing to Ushers to help people looking lost)
- Choose from a number of different fonts
- Add a title and subtitle to your plan
- Save your plans securely on their servers (Save different versions to see what works best upto 5 plans)
- Access and edit your plans whenever you’re online (From home, work, your parents’…)
- Login from your PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone (TopTablePlanner works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari.)
- No software download required
- Free E-mail support
- 7 Day money back guarantee
The Non techy but slightly better than scribbling the same names on paper over and over again way
If you prefer the totally non techy option then like Monica in “Friends” use mini sticky notes to write guests names on then draw tables on a board and keep moving the sticky notes round until they fit this should save lots of scribbling out, although watch the sticky doesn’t wear off!
Below are some other great articles on table planning that may help too:
Please leave comments and table plan tips below