TIPS FOR STRESS FREE TABLE PLANING!
Once you know:
How many people are coming
How many tables you have
Where the tables will be located in the room (most venues will supply you with a ‘floor plan’… something like this… (basically a map of the room with where the tables will fit). If not do a quick sketch and check with the venue that it works comfortably).
Now you need to your guests onto tables… without going crazy in the process!
There are various apps and programes you can get for table planning but I would recommend a quick, easy, low cost and old fashioned way… good old post it notes!
All you need is:
Post it notes https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deluxe-Leather-Sticky-Desktop-Arrow/dp/B00CVY2A24/ref=sr_1_8?s=officeproduct&ie=UTF8&qid=1485943405&sr=1-8&keywords=post+it+notes (£3.49)
Paper Squares/Circles (depending on the tables you are having)
Write each guest’s name on a post-it note. I had some pre-cut skinny ones in my desk but you can just chop the normal sized notes down).
Cut squares of white paper with each table number marked on. It is a good idea to lay the tables in a rough formation to how they will be in the room and you can put the guests that you want close to your table on the right table number as you go.
Then just stick the names to the tables – and move around until you are happy with the result. . If you want to be really technical you can also work out who you would like to be looking your way for the duration, and who you don’t mind faced away!
Once you are done take a photo for reference and if you are really organised transfer it onto your master guest spread sheet (under a ‘table number’ column).
Where to sit everyone?
I usually recommend mixing people up a bit, as it makes for a better party, but make sure you sit everyone where they will be comfortable. It can be good to chat to close family and friends and see what their preferences are… but make sure you do this early on just as an idea for you – and don’t get too many people involved in the actual planning!
At the end of the day all of your guest are there to celebrate your big day so they should all be in the right mind to have a great time where ever they are sat. And if not… don’t worry… it is your day.
How to present your table plan: PINTEREST EDIT
I’ve collected some awesome inspiration pictures on the BdF Pinterest Boards.
Traditional Placement cards (Escort Cards):
This is my favourite route, although a little old fashioned, it is the most traditional format – using placement (Escort Cards).
You have a card for each guest with the full name and table number on. It is best to lay these out in alphabetical order (by surname), instead of by table, so that each guest can find their name quickly and not block access to the table.
Traditionally laid in lines of cards (photos – so smart) you can get creative with this format too… which I will cover in a minute.
PINTEREST IMAGES from board ‘Table Plans – traditional placement cards’
Table plan on a board / mirror:
This is the most popular way to display your table plan. The board shows the Table Numbers (or names for the tables if you fancy) and a list underneath of everyone on that table.
These can be as simple or as beautiful as you like with many companies offering services to design your table plan for you. You do need to be more organised with this route as you will need to give the designer time to create the artwork (and it leaves little room for changing your mind on places).
If you are looking for a simple, beautiful look hiring a professional calligrapher is a great idea. Or learn the art yourself… we have a DIY lesson on our channel.
PINTEREST IMAGES from board ‘Table Plans – board format’
Creative Table Planning:
If you want something that little bit different to the norm there are many ideas out there for how to make your table plan personal and fun. They table the format of either escort card or on a board layout… these are just a few ideas…
CHAT THROUGH IMAGES – PINTEREST IMAGES from board ‘Table Plans – Creative Table Planning’.
I would advise (in all of these formats) to lay the cards out in alphabetical order, as it saves guests a lot of time searching for their name and blocking the way for others.
It is also a good idea to ask a bridesmaid to lend a hand in helping people to find their names… if you don’t want a delay in the guests being seated.