If any advice was needed regarding the indisputable value of a good quality wedding table
plan then the recent experience of two of my very good friends will serve very well as a practical demonstration. There are generally three types of people apparent when it comes to designing and developing a wedding table plan.
There are those who don't bother, those who underestimate how amazingly complex and involved the process is, and there are those who are able to benefit from the experiences and advice of others, and plan carefully, methodically, effectively and well in advance. Which type are you? Or which one would you like to be?
In the case of my two friends who each got married very recently, one was a clear example of the first type of person, not bothering with a wedding table plan at all, and the other was the latter type, benefitting from the experience of several friends who had already been through the whole process and could forewarn her.
My first friend - we'll call her Sara - decided that there was simply too much to do to be messing about with worrying where everybody was going to sit. Her view was that almost every one of her friends was a grown up, responsible adult, and could presumably therefore be safely trusted with the challenge of finding a seat and parking their posterior upon it.
She knew she had 100 guests coming to the Reception, and asked the venue organisers to sort out 100 place settings, excluding the Top Table. She decided that the Top Table would just be the Bride and Groom, the Maid of Honour, Best Man and the mothers and fathers of the Bride and Groom. Everything else, seating wise, was left to the fortune and goodwill of her nearest and dearest friends and family. This was a mistake.
Once the wedding itself was over there was a mad rush on the part of certain younger and more agile friends which enabled them to block book all of the tables and chairs directly in front of the Top Table. This meant that the grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters of the Bride and Groom ended up sitting near the back, barely able to see or hear anything going on.
Several of the elderly relations found themselves arriving last, and had to sit next to the breeze of the regularly opened door, quite unable to hear anything. Several children turned up, eventually having to sit on the opposite side of the room to the toilets, meaning that there was a constant shuffle and disturbance as an almost unbreaking line of children ferried backwards and forwards between their table and the loos.
The mother of the Bride ended up having to sit four tables from the Top Table as she had divorced from the father of the Bride, who was allotted a space on the Top Table, but who chose to sit with his new wife. The atmosphere was icy, looks armed with daggers and words spoken in clipped tones. The Bride and Groom spent the entire time looking forward to the whole thing being over.
My other friend, however, spent a great deal of time using an online wedding table plan service, and was subsequently able to enjoy the whole event, as did her family and friends who did not have to face a rugby scrum, and all of whom were seated very appropriately.
When it comes to creating a wedding table plan, you really can't trust your family and friends as much as you might like to think. So which type of person do you want to be?
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