Thursday, February 24, 2011

Table Talk - Positioning Your Guests

Photo from Martha Stewart Weddings
Seating assignments can be an intimidating activity for anyone planning a large event.  Especially if you are trying to figure out where to put Uncle Joey - the one who does NOT get along with cousin Sally and Felicia.  (where in the heck did I pull those names from!?)  But, arranged seating adds class and organization to a wedding or formal affair, and it really should be done if possible.  Plus, you might not know that people actually love being told where to sit.  Seriously.
Photo from
If you have hired an event planner, ask for their help in this daunting process.  That is what they are there for!  After you have enlisted help, grab a blank floor plan from the venue, enlarge it using a copy machine and use a pencil to start charting the seats.  

Here are some other easy tips for staying organized and on track:

  • Ask family and close friends where they would prefer to sit.  After that is decided, plan the other guests' seats around that.  You can't make everyone happy - but you can make a select few very happy.
  • Use four's.  I always recommend to group in fours when possible.  This gives each person at least three others that they are comfortable chatting with during the meal.  
  • Always allow for extras.  An easy way to do this is to create an open seating area in the back of the reception area.  
  • Consider the difference between escort cards and place cards.  You can use one or both.  Escort cards tell guests which table they will be seated at and place cards indicate exactly what seat at the table is theirs.  I love details and I always vote to use both - but it is absolutely acceptable to only use escort cards.
  • Make sure you have a seating extraordinaire ready to assist confused guests on event day.  And try not to make it a family member or important person.  Those individuals should be enjoying the event and not showing people to their seats.  
  • Create a beautiful display of your work!  That sounds silly, but truthfully - the escort card table, board, etc is a fabulous area for you to get creative with the display.  Do some research online to pull inspiration for your special presentation.
  • Make your life easier by asking your planner if they have a software program that can easily input seating arrangements, etc.  They all should have access to programs like these.  If you don't have a planner, many sites offer similar products for free.
Stay calm and never feel overwhelmed when planning seats.  Have fun with it and it will be more enjoyable!  

Boldly Yours,

No comments: Weddings, Consulting & Planning, Event Coordinators, free websites