A key ingredient to the success of your wedding is the wedding reception floorplan, or, where your friends and family are sitting. There have been a few snafus of late, so I thought I could shed some light on this stressful, but not impossible subject. So here are some things to think about when you are planning your wedding floorpan.
1. Your guest list, the venue floor plan, and your escort cards must all be the same. This is up to you, or your wedding planner, or in some cases the parents; but it is essential.
Your Guest List – If you number the invitation responses before you send them out, then you will know who did not respond OR who responded without filling out the response card. Also if someone responded with a guest or their children and they weren’t invited, then someone has to make the sometimes awkward call to notify them, that unfortunately your budget did not allow for guests and/or children.
The Venue Floor Plan – We use a great program called “ allseated.com” to create your event, invite you to it, and then you can download your guest list to “ drop and click” to make your tables. You should always follow the venues format for size of tables, location of tables, and any forms that need to be filled out. We are all trying to make your wedding a magical, stress-free day; but I need the tools to do it.
Your Escort Cards or Escort Board – in either case, they should be in alphabetical order. Everyone looks for their name, but no one will look for their table, obviously because they don’t know where they are sitting. Individual cards should have the name of the invited guest on the top line, and the table number below it. Fonts should be large, bold and easy to read.
2. Every venue has its own policies about seating, floor plans and room set up. If you trust your venue, then understand that they have been through this hundreds of times and know their space the best. Don’t change table numbers, move tables around, assign too many people to a table, without clearing it with your venue.
3. Check before you provide table numbers. You may have 15 tables, but that doesn’t mean that they will be sequential at the venue. A big part of our service is that we always know where each table is, and the numbers don’t change.
4. At some point there WILL be changes…people drop out for various reasons, family who couldn’t come originally, plans change and they can now attend. Communicate frequently with your wedding planner or venue to keep them up to date. It astounds me how many people bother the couple with their personal problems just days before the wedding. At some point you will need to let it go and don’t worry about less people at a table if someone cancels. I feel so bad for brides that walk in the day of their wedding with place cards, hastily written, for last minute adjustments.
5. If you are savvy with technology…great. But if you are a tactile person, that has to see and touch things, you can get piece of poster paper and draw squares on it. As your responses come back, write the name in a square with pencil. As responses come in, you will begin to see the tables forming themselves as you write names of people that are related, or that will naturally sit together. When a square reaches the maximum you want or allowed by the venue, then start a new square. Don’t even look at the floorplan until all your squares are filled with all the people on your guest list. Then assign a table number to the square.
You can always avoid the Floor Plan Follies with a little time and effort.
Find out more on how you can start planning your dream wedding with Clarks Landing! Click here or Call us for a free tour at 732-899-5559
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If you were a bride or couple who has advice on your seat planning for future brides and grooms we’d love to hear from you. Just comment below!