Stationery Guide: Please Take Your Seats

Picture the scene: your beautifully romantic wedding ceremony has gone off exactly as you'd dreamed, you're now husband and wife and your  photographer has a camera full of pictures to prove it!

There’s a happy hum from assembled guests drinking cocktails on the lawn, and dinner time is fast approaching. The trick now is to get everybody to their seats, Bellini in hand, with a minimum of fuss. Today’s stationery guide aims to help you do just that.

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Seating Plans

The traditional option is to display a large table plan at the entrance to the dining room. Depending on the design and the number of guests, this will need to be somewhere around either A2 or A1 (a medium - large poster) in size, and in a frame or on a solid backing to prevent it flopping around.  You’ll find most venues will have an easel available to display a seating plan, though it’s worth checking the maximum size and making sure you like the look of it too!

Setting out your table plan can be done in a couple of ways:

1. Listing each guest’s name alphabetically alongside their allotted table name or number. This method works well if you have a large wedding as it’s more space efficient as well as quicker for each guest to find their name on the list.

2. Listing guests under table headings. Personally I think this tends to look more polished, but it does require more space.

 

Table Plan Cards

Alternatively you could opt for a set of small (usually around A5) table plans; each one listing guests on an individual table. These cards give you lots of options in terms of styling; you could put each one in a frame and set them out on a table (perhaps the drinks table, where you know everyone will see it?), string them up with fairy lights, or hang them from tree branches.

 

Escort Cards

These are traditional in the USA and they serve the purpose of a table plan rather than a place card. Escort cards are printed with each guest’s name and their table, and displayed at the entrance to dinner. The lovely thing is guests are able to pick their card up and take it with them. It makes a lovely memento of the day, and saves being so deep in conversation you forget which table you were heading for.

 

Place cards

If you’ve spent time meticulously organising your seating plan, then place cards are an absolute must. After all, you don’t want all your match-making work to go to waste with potential soul-mates at opposite ends of the table! It might seem overkill to tell everyone which exact seat is theirs, but in some ways it makes things just that bit simpler on the day.
If yours is a more intimate celebration, a table plan is clearly surplus to requirements, though place cards are worth considering as part of the table styling and as a keepsake for guests.

 

I do hope that's given you some ideas! If you'd like to discuss your requirements, I'd be delighted to hear from you, just drop me a line.