Wedding Table & Seating Layout
A carefully made wedding table plan will make your wedding reception comfortable for your guests and efficient for your venue staff
Begin Planning Early
Don’t leave this essential part of planning your wedding day until the last minute. The sooner you start thinking about your wedding table plan, the more time you will have to fully consider all of the options. Your wedding venue will also appreciate early notice of any special requirements you may have.
Get a floor plan from the venue
Well, first things first, you need to know what you are working with. Your wedding venue will usually be happy to provide you with a floor plan of the room you are hiring, complete with an overall measurement and existing layout showing the location of fixtures such as the stage, dance floor, entrances and exits etc. Get your hands on one of these and at the same time, visit the venue in person to get feel for the size and the décor.
Decide on Table shapes
The top table is the most important table at your wedding reception and your room layout should be such that it’s visible from all the other tables. Along with the bride and groom, the top table is usually host to the best man, bridesmaids and parents of the happy couple. This table should be arranged so that it faces all of the other guests and a long rectangular table is usually ideal for this.
Most wedding venues will have a variety of table shapes and sizes available so choosing the right layout will depend on the number of guests attending and the space available. Rectangular shapes are best for maximising space and efficiency however; circular tables can create a more sociable atmosphere for your guests.
Look at the Venue layout
Consider the room layout and make sure to position your guests appropriately. Think about the dynamics of the evening’s events and the entertainment that will be laid on. Younger guests will appreciate being positioned nearer the dance floor while your 90 year old granny won’t be best pleased to find herself sitting next to the DJ, but then again, your granny might surprise you!
Consider any Special Requirements
If you have guests with special needs for access or comfort, consider these carefully and try to accommodate those with additional needs for mobility, partially sighted guests or ones with hearing difficulties.
Try to organise your guests into the appropriate groups and make each guest comfortable with a mix of familiar faces and some new ones
Organise Your Wedding Guests into Groups
Look carefully at your guest list and consider the dynamics of the different social and age groups your intended guests will come from. Try to organise your guests into the appropriate groups and make each guest comfortable with a mix of familiar faces and some new ones.
You might consider seating your extended family, aunts, uncles, cousins etc. or maybe your parent’s friends at the same table or in closely positioned tables.
Seat or Table Assignments?
How specific would you like to be in your seating arrangements? It can be useful to assign all of your guests a specific seat and add a table place name card for each individual attendee; this however, requires careful planning on your part and a deeper knowledge of your guests and the social dynamics of each group. Alternatively, your wedding table plan can assign each table to a group of guests and allow the guests to decide for themselves where they would like to sit.
Names or Numbers?
Why number your tables when you can add a personal touch by naming or theming your tables in a way that means something to you or your life together. A couple that has travelled the world for example, might name their tables after their favourite countries visited or music aficionados might choose their favourite bands and name the tables after these. This can add a nice, personal element to your wedding reception and gives guests an added insight to the couples personality or their relationships journey to the alter.
Have a kid’s Table
You might decide to include children as guests at your wedding reception. If you anticipate more than ten children attending, it’s worth thinking about including a dedicated kids table. If you do, then think about positioning the parents nearby or as close as possible. This makes it fun for the kids and practical for the parents and venue staff.
Make a Wedding Table Plan
Once you have worked out the basics of where everything will be positioned and where your wedding guests will be seated, you will need to make a wedding table and seating plan. Your wedding table plan can be displayed at the function room entrance for your guests to refer to as they enter the room and help them in finding their seats.
Your wedding table plan can be designed to match your wedding theme or colour scheme, or to blend tastefully with the décor of the venue. Have it printed and mounted and prominently displayed on an easel or tabletop display at the reception room entrance.