Sometimes people underestimate the importance of a good seating plan. The truth is, it’s quite an important part of your day. After all, a little bit of organisation can go a long way; if your guests know exactly where they’re supposed to be then it simply means there’s less room for chaos and more chance of things running smoothly and on time. Here are 8 things we feel you need to consider when putting together a seating plan.
Ensure you’ve left enough time to gather all of your guests’ names. Your RSVP date should be well in advance of the big day so that you have plenty of time to prepare a list of who is sitting where.
How will you direct your guests to their seats? You can either opt for a DIY job and put something together yourself, or you can hire a professional wedding stationery supplier to put something together for you, which is in keeping with the rest of your theme. Be aware that if someone else is producing your seating plan you will need to allow some extra time for things to be produced.
The best place for your seating plan is near the entrance, but ideally somewhere with a bit of space. You don’t want your guests to create any kind of blockage to others who are trying to enter the building or hall. If you have a large guest list, it is always a good idea to opt for two plans that can be placed in different places to avoid delays.
While a lot of people opt to have table numbers, there is an increasing trend to opt for table names instead, which relate to a particular theme. It doesn’t really make a difference which one you opt for, however names can sometimes be harder to make out so you need to ensure your signs are very clear.
It’s always a good to have your tables laid out on your plan in the same format as your floor plan. This will make it easier for guests to navigate where they are going. If however you have a large number of guests and opt for an alphabetical list of names, then perhaps try and include a small floor plan or chart on the side, or somewhere nearby, if possible.
It always helps to have a family member or friend on standby to usher guests to their seats or help them look for their names. This will prevent any long queues forming and will also avoid any embarrassment for those guests who can’t find their table.
One of the hardest parts of putting together a seating plan is trying to ensure the two aunties who can’t stand each other aren’t placed together etc. Also, always try to ensure that everyone knows at least one other person on his or her table. It can be a bit of a headache, but your guests will appreciate such gestures as it shows a lot of thought has gone into the day to ensure they’re comfortable.
The final finishing touches to your seating plan is the individual place cards. Though it’s not an absolute necessity, we think it’s a nice little touch as it makes your guests feel important. And don’t forget those favours… (but we can talk about them some other time)!