Top Tips

The UKAWP recently distributed a press release of top tips prepared by members for publication …..

How to prepare your guest list and seating plan

Guest List

“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.”  Zoe Lingard,  Weddings by Zoë Lingard

“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.”  Zoe Lingard,  Weddings by Zoë Lingard

“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!” Peggie Anne Savage, Vow Perfections

“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.” Bernadette Chapman, Dream Occasions

Seating Plan
“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 flowergirls dresses,  Margareta Johns – old school friend of the bride’ etc’. This creates a starting point for conversation and is a lovely way to introduce guests who are strangers to each other.” Carrie Watkins, Today and Forever

“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”  Andrea Swift, Fabulous Day

“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! Peggie Anne Savage, Vow Perfections

“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.” Kay Carey, Heading Up The Aisle

“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.” Kay Carey, Heading Up The Aisle

“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.”  Carrie Watkins, Today and Forever

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