As a future bride or groom you’re probably wondering what all of the fuss is about? How hard can seating plans be? All you have to do is put a few names on a sheet of paper, right?

You couldn’t be farther from the truth I’m afraid! Once you take the time to sit down and take a good look at the guest list, you’ll soon see that this once seemingly easy task could turn out to be a veritable nightmare! Then again, you could be one of the lucky ones that has two families that get on like a house on fire, where all the aunties and uncles speak on a daily basis and the cousins still visit each other on weekends. If that is the case then please let us congratulate you before we go any further. You are in the minority it would seem!
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So who sits at the top table?
Ok, so the general rule of thumb is that the bridal party, parents and priest/ceremony official sit at the top table. If you have children they can also be included (or you may want to give the children at the reception a table of their own). Let’s assume you have 2 bridesmaids, 2 groomsmen, best man, maid of honour and a couple of kids, that’s already 8 people not including yourself and your new spouse or the parents.
Grandparents should always be given pride of place at a wedding. Some couples even like to invite them to sit with them at the top table.

Where do I put the aunties and uncles?
Most traditional Irish weddings will have immediate family seated in front of the top table. It is however, totally your choice. You may find that certain members of the family don’t get on or perhaps enjoy a few too many tipples on occasion. If that’s the case, don’t be afraid to stick them in a corner somewhere with some distant relatives or friends to limit the damage (I jest you not).
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My friends are great but……
We know, you love your friends dearly, but sometimes they may not be the best of guest at what should be a pretty formal event. If you have concerns, sit them with quieter friends or family, this will allow a slower pace for the earlier hours of the day and may bring quieter guests out of their shells a little.

Remember there are no hard and fast rules to your seating plan. Try to think ahead or put yourself in your guests shoes before you confirm anything to paper and work on the assumption that all of your guests are there to enjoy a day with you and your new bride or groom. If you have any concerns about certain guests, ask the best man and maid of honour to keep an eye out for any friction or worrying behaviour.

Once everyone is seated you will find that any worries you may have had will fade and everyone will wholeheartedly enjoy your wonderful wedding day.