War of the Roses

Constructing a Seating Chart

So it’s your big day and you want to share it with just about everyone. That’s a charming sentiment but with parents, divorced parents, step parents, siblings, step siblings and a diverse mix of extended family and friends in attendance, you will need a solid plan to avoid the War of the Roses.

Almost every family invariably has some sort of ongoing family feud. To have warring family factions in the same room is asking for trouble. And to have them end up sitting at the same table could be a downright disaster. The only way to avoid any face to face confrontations and have the day go off peacefully is with some thoughtful seating planning.

Rule #1
One wedding tradition that has stood the test of time has been to honour immediate family on both sides by seating them closest to the bridal table. This allows other guests to identify the family members so they can congratulate them (believe it or not, it’s not ALL about you!). So keep mum and dad down the front and ‘his’ mates up the back.

Tips for Assigning the rest of the seats
It may take a little juggling and some shuffling around but with some careful thought and some basic guidelines, you can pull this off so everyone can enjoy the day with their dignity intact:

•    Do put people who know each other together at the same table. Even if you want to split them up so they can mix and mingle, it would be a mistake to seat any person at a table where they don’t know anybody else. Sometimes it can be very difficult to strike up a conversation with virtual strangers and everybody ends up being uncomfortable.
•    Avoid mixing age groups. Try and seat guests of the same age or those with similar interests at the same table. Putting your elderly aunt or a family with young kids at the same table as your alternative lifestyle, tattooed mate may not be such a good idea.
•    Keep your family members together and work colleagues together but take into consideration whether or not they all get along with one another. If you know someone does not get along with the others, change their seating position.
•    Don’t let your tables be gender specific- ladies at one, gents at the other. Instead, try and create balanced tables with about the same number of gents and ladies at each table. Everyone needs a dance partner at some point!
•    This one’s written in stone. Avoid placing any guest at the same table with their ex-partner. And if the ex partner has been invited along with their new beau, you need to be doubly careful about keeping enough distance between them.
•    Seat older guests who are hard of hearing nearer the place where the toasts will be raised but keep them far away from the blaring loudspeakers.

Planning a Kids Table

If your invitations included kids it may be a good idea to setup a couple of “kids tables” where you can keep a few goody bags to keep them amused.  These could contain colouring books and pencils, a small toy or perhaps a balloon.  Of course, don’t forget to assign someone to keep an eye on the kids.

BUT…avoid giving kids things like bubbles.  While I am certain they will love it and it will provide for easy entertainment it will likely end in a slippery dance floor and wedding cake that invariably tastes like soap!

So on your wedding day, when you look around and see all your guests enjoying themselves with their other table companions, you’ll be glad you spent that extra time fine-tuning those seating arrangements!

All that’s left to do is work out how to publish the arrangements.  Will you use traditional placecards, budget savvy table cards, personalised menus or bomboniere tags, a single seating chart or will guests be escorted to their seats.  And you thought the decisions were over.

Talk to us about a budget friendly, aesthetic solution that ensures your tables are well layed our, your wallet isn’t empty and your guests are firmly put in place.  We have lots of ideas that can be customised to suit any of our invitation designs and enhance the theme of your wedding reception.  http://www.stationeryonline.com/wedding-invitations

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