How To Prepare Your Guest List and Seating Plan

How To Prepare Your Guest List and Seating PlanHow To Prepare Your Guest List and Seating PlanHow To Prepare Your Guest List and Seating PlanHow To Prepare Your Guest List and Seating PlanHow To Prepare Your Guest List and Seating PlanHow To Prepare Your Guest List and Seating PlanHow To Prepare Your Guest List and Seating PlanHow To Prepare Your Guest List and Seating PlanHow To Prepare Your Guest List and Seating Plan

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Kelly Chandler is Director of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners and, as such, knows a thing or two about how to plan a successful wedding. So who better to offer some advice on the often tricky subject of who should be on your guest list and where to put them when they arrive? Kelly asked some of her friends and fellow wedding professionals to chip in with some ideas…

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Guest List
1. When compiling your evening guest list, take into account how far guests will need to travel. If guests need to travel hundreds of miles, they’ll need to book at least one night of accommodation and this can be a lot to ask of guests invited to an evening reception only. Quote by Zoe Lingard

2. Don’t make any promises about who will and won’t be invited to your wedding before distributing your invitations. You might find that you lose touch with some people over the course of your planning (e.g. colleagues who move on) but feel obliged to invite them because you mentioned they’d get an invite at the outset. Quote by Zoe Lingard

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3. Too many cooks spoil the broth – when arranging the guest list and seating plan we would advise only one person from each side of the family to be involved, you know your guests so with only a small amount of help this should make things a lot easier! Quote by Peggie Anne Savage – www.vowperfections.com

4. Create an A & B list, that way if anyone from the A list declines you can invite someone from the B list. Make sure you order approx. 15 extra invitations to save time. Think about family, friends and work colleagues. Quote by Bernadette Chapman

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Seating Plan

1. A table plan is displayed at the entrance of the Reception  showing  guests to their relevant tables. At each table a list of those guests is written onto a pretty tag and attached to each chair with a  ribbon.  Each guest name is highlighted together with a sentence about each of them, for example: ‘Astrid Tompson, sister in law of the bride – made the flowergirlsdresses’, ‘Margareta Johns – old school friend of the bride’. This creates a starting point for conversation and is a lovely way to introduce guests who are strangers to each other. Quote by Carrie Watkins – www.todayandforever.co.uk

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2. To ensure the right people can see you on the top table, my tip is to think of each table as a clock face, with 1 o’clock having the best view of the top table and then 4,5 or 6 o’clock (depending on how many guests you have per table) with the worst, as they would have their back to you (ideal place for children!). Number the guests from 1 to 8,10 or 12 and then you can easily identify where they are to sit. This also provides useful information for your venue or caterer as they can readily see where dietary requirements are sat too”  Quote by Andrea Swift – www.fabulousday.co.uk

3. Middle is the New Top – long are the days of everyone sticking to the top table being at the top of the room at the wedding breakfast, we find our couples much prefer to feel part of the room with a centred bridal party table, this not only makes them feel like they can mingle more with their guests, it also means no guests feel like they are at the back of the room! Quote by Peggie Anne Savage – www.vowperfections.com

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4. Start with using an A1 piece of paper and “post it” notes so you can easily move family members around before you finalise your plans. Quote by Kay Carey

5. Keep an open mind, an innovative seating plan can often be the talking point of the day. The use of escort cards helps to generate people’s interest in the theme and allows for last minute changes to be managed. Quote by Kay Carey

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6. If some tables need to be taken down after dinner to make room for dancing, make sure that you do not seat elderly relatives on the tables that will need to be removed.  Quote by Carrie Watkins – www.todayandforever.co.uk

All photos – Steve Gerrard Photography

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