TABLE PLANNING SOS
10 step guide to a perfect table plan
It’s tempting to leave tour table planning until the week before your wedding, but when you and your fiancé do sit down with your guest list, the task can be daunting and time consuming. Relax, here’s what to do…
- GROUP YOUR GUESTS. List guests on pieces of paper according to five groups; your parents’ friends and tour older family members; your fiance’s parents friends and his older family members; your friends and younger family members who have partners; single guests; and children.
- ENLIST HELP. Get your parents on board. Give them their lists and ask them to draw up their own plans.
- CHASE THE STRAGGLERS. Call or email anyone who has yet to RSVP, asking for an answer, as they are most likely to be in your list of friends.
- PAPER TRAIL. Write your guests’ names on post it notes so you can shuffle them around, and use paper plates to plan tables.
- FAMILY FIRST. Start with your parents’ lists and make up those tables, then do the top table, which traditionally includes you and tour groom, both sets of parents, the best man and chief bridesmaid.
- ALL FRIENDS TOGETHER. Now’s the hard bit: your friends and younger family. Place groups of friends together. Fill up empty seats with any confident, chatty guests who don’t know anyone else. Close family members will be extra enthusiastic, so they could liven up tables of quiet friends.
- BE A MATCHMAKER. Single friends are a delicate issue. Play cupid by all means, but don’t make it too obvious by placing a single girl and a single man on a table of all couples.
- WORK THE ROOM. Finalise the seating arrangements then organise the layout of the tables. The tradition is that the people closest to you, especially family, should sit near the top table, and guests you don’t know as well should sit at the edges of the room.
- FINALISE YOUR PLAN. Once you’re happy with your table plan, write the names around circles on sheets of paper. Cut out the tables and put each one in an individual envelope along with the relevant place cards you’ll be using on the day. Write the table number or name on each envelope.
- On the wedding morning, give yourself half an hour to set our tour place cards, do one table at a time, placing the cards according to your plan. Job done!