Posts Tagged: Guest List


25
Apr 12

The Seating Plan, Top Wedding Planning Tips

Creating a seating plan is often the height of stress for many couples. You must think about family relationships, friends who may or may not get along, age groups, elderly who can’t be seated near the loud speakers, Children who may be disruptive, and so on…

I suggest tackling the seating plan two weeks before your wedding. Any earlier you risk guests RSVP’ing at the last minute and having to re-do the entire plan, waiting any later will cause more stress as the wedding nears. Plus, you need to leave time for the printers to get the table plans printed.

There are no rules when it comes to seating your guests, however, etiquette suggests seating female, male, female, male, etc., and seating couples opposite of each other rather than next to one another. I rarely see a traditional top table as many parents are divorced and/or remarried, so the modern approach is for each set of parents to host their own table with the bride and groom doing the same.

FlutterFly Events

FlutterFly Events, photography by Lloyd Dobbie

Below are some of my top wedding planning tips for your seating plan:

~ Elderly guests should be seated further away from the band/DJ and any speakers

~ If children are attending, their table should be at the back of the room near the door so they have easy access to the restrooms and can be escorted out if there are disruptions

~ When you handover the seating plan to your wedding planner, put a star by the people that should be facing the head table. As a planner, I often receive seating plans that tell me the order in which guests should sit around the table, but I don’t know where on the table they should be positioned. To help me out, let me know who should have the best view of the new Mr. and Mrs.

~ Put a single guest who knows nobody on a table with a talkative friend of a similar age/interest

~ Seat work colleagues together

~ If you’re truly afraid of offending guests, consider offering “Zones”.  Set up 3-5 zones and assign each guest to a zone where they choose their own table and own seat. It’s on a first come first serve so if they get the table in the corner they can’t bicker to their friends after the wedding!

If you’d like to have the traditional top table, see the seating plan below:
top-table-seating-plan
Happy planning!
Erika

 


25
Mar 12

Escort Cards vs Table Plan

It’s a good idea to have a seating plan at your wedding- especially if your guest list is over 15. Many couples stress about the seating plan as they’re afraid they might upset family and friends. As long as everyone gets a seat, no real disasters are likely to occur.  The seating plan should be finalised when you submit final numbers to your caterer however, the reality is that seating plans will not be completely finalised until the actual wedding day. Guests fall ill, unexpected guests show and Uncle Joe insists on sitting at table 8.

You may have heard or seen the words “Escort Cards” thrown around but what exactly are these and what’s the difference between Escort Cards and Table Plans?  The escort card is a more modern approach to assigning a table to your guests, the trend starting in American weddings. These are generally handed out at the cocktail reception and assign guests to a specific table for the meal. Once they find their table they will have a place card and seat waiting for them. Escort cards are a great ice breaker as guests tend to walk around with a card in hand asking other guests what table they’re sitting at! They make beautiful decorations as well- see below.

wedding escort cards

escort cards

escort cards

A table plan is mounted onto an easel and visually shows guests which table they will be seated at. They can look beautiful but the flaw with the table plan is that you will need to cross guests off the board who didn’t show up and you will need to add names for those unexpected guests. It’s not something I would recommend if you are a perfectionist. You can create additional escort cards for unexpected cards, or pull them for those that did not show, which is a much cleaner look.

table plans for weddings


16
Feb 12

You’re Engaged!!

The ring’s on your finger, the champagne’s been popped, your friends keep pestering you for a wedding date, now what? Wedding planning!

There are three tasks you should do before diving deep into the world of lush silk and perfect bows:

1. Decide on a location

2. Draw up a guest list

3. Set a budget

 

Location

Together with your fiancé/é decide where you want to get married. I’m not referring to the actual venue at this early stage, but the town, city, or country in which you want to hold your wedding ceremony and/or reception. In many cases this will be a no brainer but if you’re indecisive then think about the following to help generate ideas:

  • Would you rather stay close to home or have a destination wedding? If you want a destination wedding, do you think your family and friends can afford the costs associated with air tickets and accommodation?
  • Do you want a city wedding, country wedding, or beach wedding?
  • What type of venue do you envision hosting your wedding in? Is it a grand castle surrounded by a moat, a stately home with elegant decor and luscious manicured lawn, a contemporary gallery in the city, a divine five star hotel, or is it a family barn in the middle of the countryside?
  • The distance from the nearest airport. If you have guests flying in to witness your nuptials then you want to consider the distance from the airport to your chosen location.

You should also decide if it will be formal or casual as this will help with process of elimination later on when searching for venues. If you want a formal wedding you won’t look at certain venues such as barns, 3 star hotels, restaurants, etc., you should only look at the appropriate venues and where they may be located.  As you’re answering these questions you start to understand what type of wedding you want and eventually you’ll narrow in on a location.

 

Guest List

Together with your partner and both sets of parents, draw up a first draft guest list which has two separate columns. One column is for those guests that must be invited to the wedding, and the other column is for guests you would like to invite to the wedding.  Tips for editing the guest list will come in another post…

MUST                        MAYBE

 Things to consider when drawing up your guest list:

  • What size wedding do you want?
  • Will you have the budget to cater to all your guests?

 

Budget

Figure out realistically how much you have to spend. Sit down with your fiancé/é and your parents to discuss the wedding budget in depth. If your parents want to contribute in someway but don’t like the idea of just giving you a fixed amount of cash, then suggest they pay for certain parts of the day such as the photography, or the band, etc,. so they know where they contributed.

If you’re on a budget, figure out where friends and family can help. There are tons of ways to save. First and foremost, hire a wedding planner! We save you thousands of pounds from the strong relationships we have with our vendors. As proof, I saved one couple £4,800 today alone! If you prefer not to go down that route then friends and family can help by calling vendors to get quotes, making flower arrangements, baking the cake, designing and printing the stationery, etc. Think outside the box and be creative. One thing I do suggest is signing an agreement with friends if they are playing a big role in your wedding such as baking the cake. Make sure the baker understands your wedding envision, the time of your wedding, the time he/she has access to the venue, the time the cake stand must be removed from the venue the following day, and the details of the order. It does bring your personal relationship into a mildly awkward business relationship, but for good purpose.

wedding planner london 2

Lloyd Dobbie Photography

wedding planner london 1

Pippa Mackenzie photography

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