The wedding day is drawing near and you finally feel as if you have most of the planning done. It’s time to sit back and relax a bit, right? Not if you don’t have the seating plan done, as this can be a major source of stress for many brides. Before you panic though, think through this seemingly mammoth task and know that with a little bit of organization, you can get the seating plan into a good order in no time. The seating plan does make for some rather stressful moments for some brides, but if you keep up with this task and stay organized then it can be a breeze. It’s something that won’t take full shape until all of the responses are in, but there’s no reason that you can’t keep organized along the way so as to prevent a meltdown at the very end.
Start with the Obvious
To begin the seating plan, start with the obvious tables containing the people that you know will be there and will of course sit together. Start with any tables for immediate family such as parents, grandparents, and siblings. You know that they will be at your wedding and you know that these tables are going to be in a prominent place so get the seating plan done and out of the way for these and it will take off of the grand total of tables to be arranged at the end. You could very well knock out several tables in this manner if you keep up with it and then it’s a lot less stress later on.
Look at Your Guest List and Make Obvious Connections
Take a long hard look at your guest list after the invitations have gone out and perhaps even incorporate an alternative method for organizing such as a large bulletin board that you can pin name cards on, or even something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet. Look at obvious connections and start there—so if you have a whole group of people that were invited from work that know each other, group them together into a group that you label in a memorable way.
If you have a bunch of friends that you invited, put them into groups that designate who they know and who would ideally sit together. The numbers may not always match up, but if you start this early enough, then it’s just a matter of crossing off as you get the responses and they start to take shape into their special groups. This takes a lot of the stress off later on!
Consider the Special Circumstances or Dramatic Scenarios
If you already know that there is some associated drama with one of the guests and you know that they can’t sit with another individual or group that is invited to your wedding, then make a list of those people right from the start. If there’s a divorce, breakup, or argument that has put a wedge between certain guests, then put those onto a special list well in advance so that you don’t have to struggle later on to figure out how to handle this. Ultimately though you can only do your best to keep the peace and you have to remember that it’s your special day for which people may have to deal with the awkward circumstance.
Do your best to keep the peace but don’t make yourself crazy trying to do so as in the end, one can only hope that adults will act as such.
Consider Naming the Tables
By giving the tables names instead of numbers, this can help to make people feel a part of something rather than see that they are the very last table in the room. Some people get offended if they are at the last table or near the kitchen, but if you attach words to the tables, it just makes it fun and enjoyable for all of the guests. Consider names such as countries you’ve been to, movies you like, or even words associated with love. If you have a theme, be sure to use it within the naming of the tables and it will keep the guests amused and take the focus off of the actual arrangement of the tables as well.