Of all the things that get couples stressed when planning their personalised wedding stationery, trying to create a seating plan must be right up there. It's one of the last big tasks you need to do and if you're having one professionally printed you have to hit a certain deadline in order to get it printed before your wedding. The major problem with a table plan is that you're reliant on your guests rsvping on time and then not suddenly changing their mind.
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How To Do Your Wedding Seating Plan (without having a heart attack))
Set a date
Set a realistic RSVP deadline to give people time to get back to you but not so long that they forget that they haven't replied. 6-8 weeks is a good length of time. It's lovely to include a proper RSVP card in your personalised wedding stationery set but make it easier for friends to RSVP by also including an email address rather than insisting people reply by post.
Once the deadline has passed get in touch with the people you haven't heard from (it'll be the usual suspects!) Don't get offended if people forget, everyone is busy!
DO A SEATING PLAN!!
Do not FOR ONE MINUTE consider not doing a seating plan, it will be a free for all. Just don't do it to yourself... However it's not essential to assign a specific seat to each person on that table.
The right tools
When you have a finalised list of guests you need the right tools to put together a plan, this means being able to change the layout a million times! Try getting yourself a pack of slim coloured post its and writing each guest name on one.
Figure out the layout
Make sure of the layout of the tables in your venue before starting a plan, no point planning for 10 round tables if the venue has banquet style seating.
Decide who you want on the top table. Usually it's the bride and groom, their parents, the maid of honour and best man and their partners but every wedding is different and if that doesn't work for you do something that does.
Plan for fun!
A personal pet hate at weddings is being placed on a 'mixed' table of total strangers if there are old friends sitting a few tables away that I'm desperate to catch up with. For a really great atmosphere at your wedding aim to seat people who know each other together or at the very least seat people together who you know will get on.
Divide and rule
One of the biggest headaches at wedding is trying to avoid seating people with their ex. Try to be sensitive to people who you know won't want to sit on the same table. Try splitting friendship groups into two and seating half at one table and half at another. This can also be great for avoiding certain tables getting too rowdy (unless rowdy is the vibe you're going for!).
Time it right
The timing of sending your table plan off to print is pretty important. Too early and you risk your guest list changing and too late and you risk it not being printed in time. Make sure you ask your stationer for advice but ideally make sure you get in touch with your guest list 3-4 weeks in advance of the day.
If all else failsInevitably people will drop out at the last minute and however stressful it may seem now it won't matter at all on the day.
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