The ultimate guide to best solve the whole “wedding table plan” situation!
The wedding table plan creation is one of the main problems that every soon-to-wed couple has to face, like it or not. Of course, it is strictly related to the seating arrangements of your guests during the wedding reception.
In fact, the seating disposition cannot be left to chance! For example, if you know ahead that among your guests there are going to be persons who dislike each other, you have to bear it in mind in order to avoid unpleasant and embarrassing situations both for you and for the guests.
So… how to prevent this situation from happening? How can you successfully safeguard the convivial and happy mood at your wedding reception? No worries, go ahead and read our guide!
When does one start creating the Wedding Table Plan?
If your wedding is slowly (or quickly!) approaching, my advice is to start thinking about the wedding table plan something like 20 days before the D-day. This way you will be able to hand over all information on the guests and tables number to the catering/restaurant staff in advance, and they will have the time to manage the organization efficiently.
Obviously, you will need to manage the last-minute confirmations and cancellations one or two days ahead of the wedding celebration.
After deciding who sits where (and especially next to whom), by tradition a noticeboard will show everyone their places; that is, in fact, the wedding seating plan.
Before that, you should realise simple cardboards with the table numbers and the names of the respective guests that have to sit there.
At a later time, you will decorate each table with its own number – or title, or name – in order to let your guests understand at what table they are supposed to sit. In the end, if you really are a perfectionist, a nominal place card will inform your guests not only of their table, but also of their neighbours’ names at the reception party.
6 Golden Rules for a Successful Wedding Table Plan:
- The spouses’ names must be written on top of it in the following order: groom first, bride second. You’ll put the wedding date immediately under them.
- Just write your guests’ first names. However, if two persons with the same name sit at the same table, you will add the first letter of the family name: e.g: Emily D., Emily R.
- The “technical” table (that is the one with photographer, singer, etc.) doesn’t have to be included in the wedding table plan, unless the persons are your friends and/or relatives. If this is not the case, have a remote table set up, so that the staff will be free to eat when they can/the wedding reception allows.
- Write the children’s name under those of the respective parents.
- Friends’ table is usually set in the back of the room.
- The order of the tables has to be decided depending on the importance of the people seated at that table, starting from the couple’s parents (right and left), and moving forward to the other relatives, up till the friends.
3 Wisdom Pills from Given2
- Never declare the wedding seating plan before the very day of the wedding reception takes place. You will be asked about it starting from a month before the ceremony. Trust me, do NOT make it known ahead of the due time! Otherwise, your are likely to go nuts trying to hear everybody’s preferences.
- Try not to have the kids separated from their parents: in this way, the mums and dads will be able to look forward their children, preventing them from creating catastrophes!
- Have the single friends/relatives seated at the same table.
DIY Wedding Seating Plan
By making a DIY Wedding Seating Plan, we will surely save some money (up to 200 euros!). However, we necessarily need some handiness and creativity!
If you are up to give it a try, first you have to get yourself a plywood piece of the following dimensions:
- 80×100, if you have invited several guests;
- 60×80, for an average wedding;
- or, for the more intimate receptions, a 50×70 cm plywood piece will be just fine.
The dimension choice has to be taken also considering that your wedding seating plan must be readable by everybody, even your grandparents! The plywood can be bought in any home improvement/DIY shop or in big distribution chains. They usually sell precut rectangles, and it is often possible to have them tailor-made cut into the needed dimensions.
Once you purchase your rough wedding table, you have to cover it with rice paper, on both façades, having it stick to them thanks to vinyl glue (better if you first water it down a little). After that, let it dry in the air at least for one night.
Then, you can buy card boards in whatever size you prefer. Cut them into rectangles and write in them the names of your guests. Then, all you have to do is stick the card boards to the wedding table plan with a little piece of adhesive tape. In this way, if you have to change something, you can remove the card boards without messing it up too much! (Thus prevent you from having to do everything from scratch). At this point your wedding table plan is complete! You can now procede with the decoration of the plan, and then you just have to place it at the entrance of your wedding reception hall.
The Wedding Escort Card for you Seating Plan directly from the U.S.!
Overtime, along with the emergence of the wedding planner role, the tradition changed creatively and modernised the original way of planning the whole wedding seating organization issue. This led to the development of new and particular wedding table plan ideas, that entailed a sort of competition among the soon-to-be-married couples in order to have the most original and unique tableau. Several couples use their wedding macro-theme and apply it also to the seating plan. Other brides and grooms like to adopt even more original solutions, such as the “wedding escort cards“. This cards started as a UK trend, but later spread almost everywhere else in the world.
They are kind of a wedding seating plan evolution; in fact, escort cards are independent tags, and every guest has to pick one of them in order to find out which table will be its own at the wedding reception. On these cards the name of the guest is written next to their corresponding table number.
They don’t necessarily have to be paper-made: you can use whatever material you like and then just stick the tag on it! Besides, if you use small and cute objects they could also serve as nice and sweet souvenirs for your wedding guests! In one word: you can combine your wedding seating plan and your guests’ party favour in a single and convenient solution.
Maybe you are wondering where to find ideas for your wedding escort cards…? Well, that goes without saying: on Pinterest!! For example here is a nice pinboard I found for you.
Original themes and ideas for your Wedding Table Plan
More and more couples today choose to get married in winter. A winter wedding seating plan could involve a small fir, where you carefully hang your card boards containing the table number on one side and the guests’ name on the other. The overall scene will make everyone think of a Christmas tree! Lovely, isn’t it?
Otherwise, as shown in picture N.1, the couple can stick numbers on one side of the plywood board and the guests’ name on the other side, later linking them to one another by using a woolen thread secured by nails. You can then decorate your plywood board with flowers and plants. This suggestion is inspired by Ariadne’s thread and her legend.
As for escort cards, you can put them into a pretty frame garnished with butcher’s broom or safety pins, as shown in picture N.2.
Image N.3 is quite scenographic: here, the card boards are related to Christmas decorations, those we usually put on the Christmas tree. In view of the cold weather, something energetic like chocolate could also help! (e.g. picture N. 4):
If you have a green thumb and love nature and flowers, here are 6 ideas based on nature:
In the first example, we have a wedding seating plan based on several flowers. In the second one, a number of medicinal plants are associated with a terracotta vase, with the table number written on the latter with chalk.
Every plant is pierced by several little sticks or toothpicks (same number as the guests invited to the reception), and the card boards are sticked to them (see examples N.3 and N.5).
Vases can be placed as you want, or following pictures N.2 and N.6. This latter example, in particular, is very easy to realise. You just have to follow a simple tutorial and then stick next to the written tag a small plant (not necessarily a real one!).
You are crazy about food? Take a look at this nice blackboard wedding seating plan! Instead of writing the word “menu”, as in the example below, you can write the couple’s names. The card boards with your guests’ names should be tied to the pieces of cutlery.
However, the simplest, nicest and most innovative idea is by me the use of eatable escort cards as in picture N.2, or the one with bread pieces and the sideboard.
In the following example, instead, every table is represented by a different spice.
If you manage to get a corner booth, what about using it for your wedding seating plan? Two are the ideas I chose for you:
If you are planning a wedding theme based on wine, let’s focus for a second on the realisation of your particular wedding seating plan! Here’s some ideas I gathered from Pinterest:
In picture N.1 we have a cork surface and not a wooden one. Every card board represents a table and is tied to a cork bearing the name of the guests and their table number.
N.2 is my favourite idea. You can realise it by asking the host of the agritourism for help; as in the third example, bottles substitute the card board with name tags, and every table is called after a wine. In example N.4, corks are cut in halves and placed as in a Tetris game.
If you love travels, a great idea is to use the future honeymoon destinations in your wedding seating plan and for your table names (see example N.4).
Or, as in pictures N.1, 2, 6, why not getting inspired by the whole world!? Have you ever watched the movie called Around the World in Eighty Days? If you enjoyed it, you should consider putting a cute little hot-air balloon on every table as in collage picture N.5.
Otherwise, you can think about doing a suitcase wedding seating plan (example N.3), or compass escort cards. Another idea is to use chopsticks rather than regular card boards! (see example N.6).
For the DIY lovers I suggest to create a board with a collage containing the guests’ names. Here you can find some examples:
N.1: a tree-shaped piece of paper is cut out of the paper material. Tags are also carved out of it, and roses are used as decoration. Very scenographic and yet easy to do and so cheap!
In picture N.2, a card board is framed and decorated with the stylised bride and groom holding balloons. A very creative idea!
For the most romantic and refined couples, a nice idea can be the creation of frames. Here are 7 different suggestions related to this concept:
Which one is your favorite?
In recent years one of the most popular styles at weddings (and beyond) is shabby chic. If your wedding theme is shabby chic, here are my 5 suggestions:
Later on… How could I forget about music lovers? I mean, right? I bet there’ll be plenty of music listeners among the guests!!
If you fall in said category, the first wedding seating plan is right for you: traditional card boards were substituted with stylised music vinyls (you just have to cut a circle of two different dimensions from a black cardboard and a colorful one). The table names could be for example your favourite albums, genres or song titles! (as in picture N.2) .
In picture N.3, the wedding seating plan consists in old vinyls kept together by a twine (twine is easy to find at vintage markets). Here, the album title is also the name of the tables, and the guests’ name are directly written on the vinyls.
Many couples are also keen on literature and books in general, as a personal hobby or their own profession. Here we go with 3 book-friendly solutions!
Shapes can also inspire us when we are conceiving our wedding seating plan. In particular, in the following picture every card helped shape the big heart. If your wedding theme is Love or Valentine Day, it is a great idea!
If you like to play games and wish for a fun summer wedding atmosphere, what about funny sunglasses used as escort cards? Look at the following photo!
If you are into medieval costumes, perhaps a parchment would be just the right solution for your wedding! Even better if hang on a tree and affixed by the use of a nice ancient-looking arrow, as in the picture below!
Here is a unique and very artistic idea: a puzzle on both sides of the wedding seating plan!
I bet the next suggestion doesn’t need an introduction, am I right? Cars, cars, cars!
Last but not least, the perfect solution for every eco-friendly couple: the pallet wedding seating plan with raphia roses!
Scelto il tema e scelto il tipo di tableau, adesso non rimane che decidere i nomi dei tavoli di matrimonio! Ricordati però che è consigliabile pensare all’assegnazione dei posti degli invitati a tavola circa 20 giorni prima del matrimonio in modo da avere già tutte le conferme di presenza – ad esempio grazie al nostro sistema di r.s.v.p. 😉
Se dopo aver letto le nostra guida siete più confusi di prima, abbiamo riassunto tutto quello che c’è da sapere sull’argomento “tableau di matrimonio” in questa infografica.