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Reception Ideas

Table Layouts

Our wedding is officially less than two weeks away, and we have all but three of our RSVPs back (due on Wednesday). I want to start doing our table layouts, but I'm not sure what the best way to go about it all. I was considering printing all the names out and doing a big floor plan and sticking the cutout names on there... it seems wasteful, but I'm very visual and just doing it on the RSVP list on my computer isn't cutting it. 

Anyone have any brilliant alternatives to save a little paper?

Re: Table Layouts

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Do you know Excel?

    I would use it to outline cells in roughly the patterns of the table layout at your venue. You can put table numbers inside the cells, and outline ranges of cells for things like the lighting, music equipment, bar, dance floor, photo booth if there will be one, doors, etc. Plus, you can add rows and columns and adjust their sizes to allow for as much or as little space around the tables and other things in the layout as possible.

    You can use the comment feature as you see fit too.
  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'm very visual too. I used a big piece of cardstock and marked the tables/DJ/bar/etc. in pen. Then I wrote guest names on post-it flags (one color for my family, one for his, one for friends, one for coworkers) so I could arrange and rearrange seating as needed to fill tables. It made it easier to put guests who knew each other together and keep tables of different guest groups together without much fuss. 

  • Most people assign tables, not individual seats, is that what you're doing?  If so, I'd separate the tasks.

    First, assign people to a table. I did this in Excel, and made a column for each table (just by number, I think I had tables 1-17 or so). I had the guest list already in Excel for invites and stuff, and I first just gave everyone a category: bride's family; bride's college friends; groom's college friends, etc. It was really easy to just sort people to 7-9 people per table (that was what we were aiming for with our table sizes).  A couple places we ended up with like 10-12 people in a category, so we had to figure out how to split them, and who to join them with. Like, a table with a few of groom's high school friends and a few of groom's college friends made more sense than groom's high school friends with bride's family! Same thing with the few couples we had that didn't fit into a group--we just placed them with people that made some sort of sense. 

    Once that's done, then deal with the table layout--I had a rough drawing of the room that I had done with the wedding coordinator, but easy enough to do it yourself. You can figure out with "table" goes where...like, if "Table 9" is your elderly relatives, you pick a table away from the speakers and label it Table 9 on the drawing, etc. I put the table we were at in the middle of the room, and made sure both parent's tables were equidistant from us in case anyone got petty. 
  • @Jen4948 ; I am pretty good at excel, but that format is hard for me to visualize in ....I like @Cookie Pusher's suggestion of the colored stickies....that will help me really gauge what I'm looking at. 

    @MandyMost yes, just assigning a table, not a specific seat. Maybe I can categorize them first and see if that helps me. I was just kind of throwing numbers in my spreadsheet and it was like, impossible, ha.
  • I would suggest listing everyone that goes together first and then figuring out how many tables per group and then deciding where the table would be. 
  • My venue gave me a floor plan with blank tables/band/bars etc on it.  I made a few copies so I could make revisions, blown up to 11x17 so I could see everyone clearly.  I’m very visual too.  I used Word or maybe it was Excel to list who was coming and to split into categories (mom’s side of the family, H’s coworkers, etc.) but actually seeing the tables in front of me helped.
  • I "sorted" our guests as they RSVPd by bride's family, groom's family, friends (high school, college, local), etc. I tried to keep those in groups of 8, which was our table size. Then once we got the layout from our venue, I took a big piece of cardboard and very roughly drew it out. I cut post-it's into strips and wrote each person's name on one so we could move them around easier. We ended up making a few changes and that was easy to do with the post-it's. 
  • edited February 2018
    Honestly, I would print out tiny slips with each guest's name, add a little sticky tack to the back, and draw circles on a poster board. On each name slip, put a colored dot with whatever group(s) they belong to (e.g. FH family, your family, FH college friend, your co-worker, etc.) so you can more easily put people together who know each other. The sticky tack will let you easily move people until you're good with wherever they're sitting.

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