Even if you are known for your organisational skills, planning the guest list and seating arrangements can have the potential to throw you.
Although the process can feel overwhelming and ruthless at times, looking after your guests is one of the most important considerations in the entire planning process. Your guests are there to witness and share in the commitment you are making as a couple – you can’t get much more important than that!
Start planning early
Whether your guest list is 50 or 100, the number will be split down the middle to cater for both the bride’s side and the groom’s side. Including a fair number from each side shows that your wedding is about the two of you coming together.
Coming up with the guest list and organising seating needs to be 100% a joint effort, so set up those spreadsheets and start planning early.
Add an extra column into your spreadsheet and categorise your guests by your relationship with them – school friends, family friends, work friends, or family. Categorising guests makes it easier to create smaller groups within your list that you can use for the seating plan.
Maybe you’ll find the process easy, maybe you won’t. But don’t try your luck and start your seating arrangements the night before – you’ll have better things to do, like relaxing!
Know your numbers
Although necessary, limiting numbers can feel a little unfair at times. However, we are typically driven by a budget so keeping a cap on things is essential.
If budget isn’t an issue, you will be working out numbers based on what your venue can hold. Many venues have a maximum seating arrangement for 100-120 people so this will set the number for you.
Knowing your numbers helps to prevent things from getting out of control. Even if there is nothing stopping you from inviting the whole town, intimate numbers make the guests feel more appreciated and heighten the day’s romance.
Be strategic in your planning
Once the guest number is set in place, you have the trying task of seating every person. This can feel a lot like a game of musical chairs as you move names from table to table trying to find the best seat for every one of your guests.
Strategy has to come into play when seating your guests and that’s why it’s not as easy as pulling names out of a hat.
Sometimes there are tensions among the group. In this case, you may want to keep those involved separated! Perhaps you’re hoping to spark friendships by seating people together who you think will get along really well. Or maybe you’re looking at things from a catering perspective – who’s vegetarian or vegan and will share in each other’s culinary beliefs?
I’ve provided enough seats, why can’t they just seat themselves?
In theory, this is a good point. But do you really want to watch your guests scramble to find a seat?
If you’ve ever been to a wedding without a seating plan, you’ll know why it’s easier on your guests to have one, especially if your numbers are high.
Don’t give up on your seating plan, no matter how hard things get. People like to know where they are sitting, and with whom they are sitting next to. They also like to know that you have taken the time to choose their seat and you have sat them with people you believe they will get along with.
For a spacious yet intimate setting, take a look at Markovina Vineyard Estate. With plenty of room, you can rest assured that your guests will enjoy your special day in comfort.
The team at Markovina is happy to assist you in the planning process and you are welcome to visit the venue for pre-wedding planning meetings to get an idea of how you’d like to arrange tables.
Markovina Vineyard Estate will take care of the menu, beverages and set-up to give you more time to plan your guest list and seating arrangements. Booking your venue is a great place to start in the planning process, so call Markovina today and get the ball rolling.