It’s the bane of all our lives right? The dreaded seating plan…
Before I start, I should admit, I don’t think I can wave my fairy blogmother wand and magic your issues away, BUT, I hope there might be an idea or two tucked away in here that will help you navigate the issue with perhaps one less family argument or sleepless night over who sits where. Because we have better things to worry about right?!
And as you guys really are the geniuses (Genii?!) around here… please do add in your thoughts, suggestions and solutions, or even just your biggest dilemmas to see if we can get a great big Rock My Wedding community problem solved!
So… on with the show.
First things first. The top table.
I had a traditional top table. It was an elongated oval shape and went like this…
Pete’s Dad :: My Mum :: Pete :: Me :: Mums Partner Phil :: Pete’s mum
(Some people also seat the Best Man and Maid of Honour on the top table in which case they would be next to the Grooms Mother and father respectively.)
That is exactly as it should be traditionally… and I think we all know how we here at RMW feel about traditional. If it’s you (or as in my case, your mum would be broken hearted if you didn’t do it like this,) then fire away. But if not, then there are plenty of alternatives.
Divorced families seem to have paved the way for new traditions and one of the best alternatives I think is to have each parent host their own table, leaving you free to enjoy dinner with your best men and women. It might not be the solution you hoped for, with everyone getting along for the sake of your big day, but for the peace and quiet, it might just be worth it. Plus you get the bonus of spending dinner with your favourite people!
The more extreme solution? The Sweetheart table. Snub no-one and get something every bride and groom wants – a little quiet time with their beloved on W-day.
Pick’n’Mix or Divine Intervention?
I was really torn organising my own seating plan… do you place your friends together and ignore the whole point of a wedding being bringing 2 families together? Or mix everyone up to begin the melding of 2 families and sometimes friendship groups too?
Having been the couple that can talk to nearly anyone and therefore being on the receiving end of quite a few ‘difficult’ tables at weddings I have attended over the years, I was determined to place everyone with people they knew and liked. I love going to a wedding, as much for the bl*%dy good catch up you get with friends you haven’t seen in ages, as for the couple themselves. So we arranged our tables as follows… (broadly speaking!)
The Bridesmaids/Best Man and their partners. Basically, this table was our very best friends and we put them slap bang in front of us to provide regular stop off’s there throughout the day.
The Cousins (Pete’s side)
My Family friends growing up and extended family (two tables worth)
The only baby in attendance was our 6 week old niece and so we put Pete’s sister and husband with her Aunts and Uncles… the older generation of the cousins table!
More Family friends – one of the only combined tables of both sides of our family.
My Uni Girl friends and their respectives
My Work Friends
Pete’s Uni/Work friends
I hope that doesn’t seem irrelevant but hopefully it gives an idea of the way people fall nicely into groups if that’s what you want.
The Difficult Truth
I think nearly everyone has to invite people to their wedding that they would prefer not to have done. Rather than think of it as defeat, I think of it as compromise. For all our talk of doing it your way, the truth is, a wedding is as much for the people around you as for you in some ways. The people your parents want to reminise about the day with… to have seen their daughter look radiant with them, they all need seating somewhere and are usually less difficult than the other difficult guest… the loose canon!
Every wedding has one, the female friend who sobs into her chardonnay without fail at the end of a brilliant night, the toilet humoured cousin or work colleague, the slightly leery uncle bound to stare at someone’s boobs (if he doesn’t make a grab for them!) the person who will heckle the speeches… the list goes on and more than likely they’re amongst your best friends. After all, the behaviour and banter you enjoy on a night out, might not be quite what you had in mind for your wedding breakfast within ear shot of your great aunt Mildred.
We had a whole table of them, totally gross (read hilarious but not at your wedding) boys who literally can’t get through a sentence without uttering something completely unspeakable in polite society. So they were plumped together to entertain each other and (fingers crossed) no-one else!
Of course, it could have gone horribly wrong with them all egging each other on, but I had faith!
Round peg, Square hole?
Are round tables not for you? Really want to mix everyone up or perhaps even let people sit exactly where they want? How about long tables… and they needn’t be rustic.
I so wish I had done this… sadly my venue just didn’t allow for it, but it’s becoming more and more common and I love seeing it on these very pages 🙂
Last Minute Let Down
Someone will always cancel at the last minute. It’s a cruel rule of fate that leaves every bride totally frazzled. Whether through sickness, disaster or thoughtlessness there is bound to be a person who can’t make it and due to the circumstance (or lets face it, complete and utter idiocy) only lets you know at the 12th hour.
*Read more in our post about Escort Cards here.
The easiest way of surviving such a mishap, is to leave the table plan to the day, (or two nights) before. Then there’s no re-printing/gluing and sticking, no frantic re-arrangement and no stressed out bride. Have it all sorted, ready to go and then if all goes according to plan, just press print. If not, retype a couple of names and away you go. Even easier… use escort cards, then you can do them ahead of time and any last minute amendments only need one or two cards re-doing.
Share Your Solutions
So now it’s time to spill the beans… Tell us which parts of the planning you identify with here, your problems, nightmares and made in heaven solutions. Lets unleash the power of the RMW community and magic them all away… Rock My Wedding Fairy blogmother stylee 😉