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The Trials and Tribulations of the Wedding Table Plan - How to decide who sits where

July 04, 20234 min read

The Trials and Tribulations of the Wedding Table Plan - How to decide who sits where

Hello, soon-to-be-wed lovebirds! Planning your dream wedding is an incredible adventure, but let's address the infamous challenge of organising the seating plan for the wedding breakfast. In this blog, we'll explore the trials and tribulations of the wedding table plan, discussing various angles such as different types of top tables, shunning traditions, and handling those sensitive family disputes. So, grab a cup of tea (or perhaps a glass of bubbly), and let's embark on this seating adventure together!

I. Exploring Top Tables:

Ah, the eternal question of where the VIPs should sit. Let's dive into the pros and cons of each option:

1. Traditional Head Table: Picture the classic head table where the lovebirds, wedding party, and immediate family members sit. Pros: It provides a central focus and allows for heartfelt toasts and speeches. Cons: It may limit mingling with other guests and create a formal atmosphere.

2. Sweetheart Table: Dreaming of an intimate setting for two? A sweetheart table is all about that romantic vibe. Pros: It offers privacy and quality time for you as a couple. Cons: You might miss out on interactions with the wedding party and family members during the meal

3. Bridal Party and Family Tables: If you prefer a more inclusive approach, separate tables for the bridal party and immediate families might be the perfect fit. Pros: It ensures everyone feels special and connected, fostering intimate conversations. Cons: It may require additional space and coordination, and the couple might have less time to spend with each group.

hand lettered calligraphy table plan - gold calligraphy on hot pink card suspended in an antique frame

II. Shunning Traditions:

Let's break free from the wedding rulebook and embrace your unique love story! Consider the following:

1. Personalizing the Seating Plan: This is your moment to shine! Pros: You can infuse your personalities and values into the seating plan, making it truly reflective of your journey. Cons: Some traditional-minded guests might find it challenging to adapt, so be prepared for some raised eyebrows.

- Example: Create a seating plan inspired by your favorite books, naming tables after beloved literary characters or locations that hold special meaning for both of you.

2. Breaking Away from Conventions: Explore alternative seating arrangements and styles that defy expectations. Pros: It adds a touch of excitement and personalization to your wedding. Cons: It might require additional planning and coordination to ensure a smooth experience for your guests.

- Example: Arrange your reception space into cozy lounge areas instead of traditional tables, where guests can relax, mingle, and enjoy the evening in a more casual and intimate setting.

mirrored table plan

III. Navigating Family Disputes:

Family dynamics can be tricky waters to navigate, but fear not—we have some strategies for you:

1. Understanding Family Dynamics: Take the time to comprehend the unique dynamics and histories of your family relationships. Pros: It allows you to make informed seating decisions, considering potential conflicts and tensions. Cons: It may require delicate conversations and additional effort to strike a balance.

- Example: Create separate family tables that include a mix of guests from each side, encouraging conversations and connections between different branches of the family.

2. Minimizing Conflict: To maintain harmony, consider strategic seating arrangements for conflicting family members or estranged individuals. Pros: It helps prevent potential confrontations and ensures everyone can enjoy the celebration. Cons: Finding the right balance may be challenging, and some individuals might still harbor negative feelings despite the efforts.

- Example: Seat conflicting family members at separate tables but ensure they are placed in different areas of the room, allowing them to celebrate without being in close proximity to one another.

3. Dealing with Disagreements: Inevitably, some people might not agree with your table plan decisions. Pros: Open and honest communication can help address their concerns and provide clarity. Cons: It's impossible to please everyone, so be prepared to kindly explain your rationale and stand firm in your choices.

- Example: If someone expresses their disagreement, kindly listen to their perspective and explain how you arrived at the seating plan. Emphasise that your intention is to create a harmonious and inclusive atmosphere for all guests. Offer alternative ways to make them feel valued, such as including a heartfelt note in their place setting or organizing a special activity or photo opportunity during the reception.

The Oxford Calligrapher creating the bottle table plan with hand lettering


Planning your wedding table plan is like embarking on a thrilling adventure, filled with ups and downs. By carefully considering different top table options, embracing your unique love story through personalized touches, and navigating family disputes with empathy and communication, you'll create a seating arrangement that reflects your journey and fosters a joyful celebration for all. Remember, there might be some bumps along the way, but with love and understanding, you can create a memorable and harmonious wedding day that truly represents you both.

Cheers to an unforgettable celebration surrounded by loved ones!

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Jane Morton Driscoll

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