Organising your wedding table plan can be one of the most difficult parts of your planning process. Here I am going to share some tips on how to organise your wedding table plan, as well as give you an insight into what traditions dictate.
The top table is usually a long table that faces the guest tables and seats the wedding party. There are different ways you can organise your top table. Here are a few ideas…
A traditional wedding top table seating plan (from left to right):
Chief bridesmaid, Groom’s Father, Bride’s Mother, Groom, Bride, Bride’s Father, Groom’s Mother, Best Man
Groom’s Mother, Bride’s Father, Chief Bridesmaid, Groom, Bride, Best Man, Bride’s Mother, Bride’s Father
Traditional layouts do not suit all couples, especially if the bride or groom’s parents are divorced/re-married. In this case you may want to consider the following options…
- Larger top table accommodating step-parents as well
- Larger top table accommodating children as well
- Small table just for the bride and groom
- Table for the bride, groom, chief bridesmaid and best man
- Table for the bride, groom and children
Before you start deciding who sits where on your wedding table plan you may want to discuss with your venue the table/room options available for the amount of guests attending. They can tell you the maximum amount of guests allowed per table and the maximum amount of tables allowed overall. This will then give you a firm foundation to work on.
Once you know how many tables and seats per table you can have you need to start dividing your guests up to suit. Try making three separate lists…
- Bride’s family and friends
- Groom’s family and friends
- Shared friends you can split either way
Next, divide your guests up, sitting the people closest to you nearest the top table, with the people less close to you furthest away.
- Arrange your guests male/female wherever possible
- Consider who will get on well together. A wedding breakfast can often take two hours or longer so you want people to feel comfortable
- Keep families together wherever possible
- Make sure seats are easily accessible for elderly guests and guests in wheelchairs
- Place families with young babies/children around the edge of the room, allowing plenty of space for a highchair and/or pram. This will also allow children to move around between courses without disturbing other guests
You should organise your wedding table plan as near to the wedding day as possible. This allows for any last minute changes should a guest drop out.
If you are having your table plan made or printed then check the turnaround times with your wedding stationer and allow for this. You could consider having your wedding table plan delivered direct to your venue if you’re tight on time.
Guest post by Lisa Forde of Dotty About Paper
Table Plan: Dotty About Paper
Wedding Table: Geoff Kirby Photography