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Table Plan

Not having assigned seating initially feels like the easy option when you have so much else to organise, but imagine a family trip to the cinema where there weren't enough seats for you all to sit together or going to a restaurant to be told you were sitting on a table with complete strangers! Come your big day you want your guests to relax and enjoy themselves, you don't want couples having to sit miles apart, or children away from their parents!

So... bite the bullet, open your favourite drink and get organising... 

Perhaps the easiest place to start is the top table (if you are having  one), there are a few traditional layouts for this but I've only included the one. Tweak it a little until it works for you.

If your top table has too many people on it, for the venue or your comfort, you could consider not having one. Let your bridesmaid sit with her boyfriend, your flower girl with her parents and the in-laws with the outlaws. It can be very romantic to have a table for two and it's one of the few opportunities to talk properly with your new husband/wife/partner that you get during such a busy day. 

Once the top table is set then you need to know how many tables the venue recommends for your number of guests, and how many people each table seats - and how many guests will be attending. Some people find it easier to work with individual pieces of paper (one to represent each table) and write the guests on as you allocate seats.

Start off with family groups, as these don't like to be separated, unless there are older children. Then put Grandparents and close family members on appropriate tables. Add couples where you can (trying to accommodate for their personalities but not giving this too much importance!), then it's just a matter of shuffling it around until you are happy.

I understand that this all sounds very simple yet is a nightmare when you come to do it, but work on it for an hour then go do something you want to be doing for a while and come back to it later. Also it's handy if your other half is around - just so you can check if their Uncle Billy gets along with Auntie Jess!