I’ve had this post in my draft box for over a year and I totally forgot to post it- better late than never eh?! You’ll probably be surprised (or sickened) to hear that I actually still have my table plans sat in home- we worked too damn hard to just throw them away! HA!
So many of you know that I’m originally from the Midlands. I’ve rarely come across proper seating plans for weddings at Midlands weddings. It’s a cultural thing, if you travel down south to London, it’s rare not to have a seating plan. When I first proposed this to my parents they weren’t all that keen.
Their main concern was that they didn’t want guests to feel like they were being dictated to. My point was that they will be dictated to because they were attending OUR wedding, and at OUR wedding everyone should have an allocated seat. In addition to this I wanted my close friends and family (i.e. people who knew our names) to get seated close to us.
(Seriously there were people at our wedding who had NO idea who I was. One guy proceeded to congratulate my sister (who is eight years my junior) at my prewedding party – and when my sister corrected them and introduced me as the girl getting married he STILL didn’t get it! I was not impressed.)
Naturally when you’re having a 600 guest wedding where majority of the guests are Indian you NEED to have a seating plan.
Bit of a hassle? Yes.
WELL worth it? HELL YES.
Why should you bother? For a number of reasons- which you can find below!
1. So an elder who forgets her glasses doesnt end up sitting next your groom at your sweetheart table #AWKWARD
2. So your immediate family and close friends can actually be seated close to you, whether it’s for the comfort of sharing the wedding moments with them, or whether to tell your sister you need her to accompany you to the loo.
3. So husbands, wives and children can be seated together, after all they have given up their weekend together to come to your wedding. They should be seated together so they can still have family time whilst enjoying the wedding.
(I used to get so annoyed as kid because we only got to see our dad at the weekend, and dad would always end up on a different table to us)
4. So people don’t STAMPEDE into the reception hall and trample over each other in a race to get the seats – THIS SHIT HAPPENS. I’ve been to a wedding where this has happened, it really wasn’t fun being squished between two ladies who had obviously had too many samoseh in their lifetime, and an uncle who decided to go to pub down the road from the temple for a few cheeky pints at 10am that morning (instead of sitting in and watching the ceremony).
5. So the team who you have hired for your wedding- photographers/DJs/videographers/wedding planners have a decent place to sit and eat. Yes- you have hired them but you will soon realise that you will very quickly become friends with them, and you wouldn’t want your friends to have to stand up and eat during a busy working day would you now?!
6. So randomers who invite themselves to your wedding don’t sit themselves wherever, so that the families who were invited and did bother to RSVP get split up on random tables.
7. So your brother and sister don’t end up standing for the whole of the wedding because some gate crashers have taken their seats- on our wedding day one of my distant uncles randomly brought a friend to the wedding- he took my sister’s seat AND wore jeans to the reception- simply WTF?
8. So you can assign ‘non allocated tables’ to said gate crashers. People still can’t believe that we have gate crashers in this day and age- in the Midlands we do.
And when you ask your mother why, you will ALWAYS get the same response- ‘Oh you know, that uncle who we did invite, he had his entire family, the dog and the dog’s uncle visiting him from India this year, so they were staying with him so naturally he brought all twenty of them along’.
My response: ‘…and why couldn’t they just stay at home and wait for said Uncle to come back after the wedding?.’ - Funny how there is never a reply to that question!
We assigned 4 whole tables for this purpose- yes 4 tables of 15, that’s 60 extra seats, 60 extra hired chairs, 60 extra napkins, 60 extra sets of canapés, starters, mains and desserts, 4 extra centre pieces, 4 extra tablecloths. Believe it or not-EVERY EXTRA SEAT WAS FILLED. I wasn’t happy about it, but I was relieved that my important guests didn’t have to move to accommodate gatecrashers, and no one was left to stand throughout the reception- this would have been our worst nightmare!
So I rest my case when it comes to doing a table plan- future Brides & Grooms- you need to sort it out- fight for a table plan. My parents eventually understood why I fought so hard for some organisation!
If the next time I take my weekend out to turn up to a wedding reception where I have to grab my husband and we have to RUN FOR OUR LIVES just to grab a seat, I will just give my wedding present and leave.
I don’t think I’m being rude by saying this but I just feel sometimes Indian weddings are SO lavish and it’s wonderful that people spend ridiculous amounts of money on their Big Fat Indian weddings- BUT what’s the point if your guests can’t be in comfort on the day?
It’s not about showing off about what sports car you and your new bride are coming in, it’s not about how big the diamonds you’re wearing are, it’s about being a GOOD HOST. Friends and families have swapped out of work shifts, delayed their vacations, bought new outfits, basically made an investment so they can attend your big day- the least you can do is make sure every guest has a seat to enjoy their meal and the company of their loved ones too! If you can’t cater for that, then don’t invite above your capacity. No one wants to be standing up for your entire wedding in heavy saree and heels. Think about it- be sensible with numbers!
Anyway on a lighter note- you can see how I made our DIY Table Plans in my next post tomorrow!