Today’s post is all about Turning the Room, tables, and seating charts.
Turning the room is when the wedding and reception are in the same place. Not just the same general location, but the SAME place! Guests come in. Chairs are in line facing the alter area. There’s an aisle in the middle or the sides. It’s set up for a wedding.
Then guests go out. The party takes a few pictures. Bride, Groom, and party leave for more pictures. A staff comes in and transforms the room into a reception hall.
And that’s what turning the room means. To turn the room from one function to another. Like making a sitting room into a dining room in a house just by rearranging some furniture and decorations.
The drawback is that the guests need to be entertained for that hour between while things are set up and the wedding party is having pictures done. I’ve never been to a wedding that did this well. I’ve been to a few that wished they had thought of it.
“We’re trying to get our pictures done. Please stop distracting the party. Hit on the bridesmaid later. No, it isn’t beer o’clock. Can you keep your kid over there? Yeah, tell me the story later. Sorry, I can’t selfie right now. The photographer leaves in TWENTY MINUTES. OMG where’s the Best Man?”
Look at your guest list. What will occupy those people for an hour? Is there an activity for the children? Are there appetizers? Will weather be an issue? Are you getting your pictures taken far enough away to avoid the party being distracted before you loose the light?
Maybe I sound like Debbie Downer, but I’ve seen these problems. My experience could save you. This is an opportunity to prevent disasters with just a little planning.
Speaking of preventing disasters with planning… THE SEATING CHART.
Use post-it notes or an easy to drag and drop program. You’ll be redoing that chart. If you’re lucky, you won’t have to redo it 14 hours before the reception. (Thanks, Dad. A last-minute invite was just what I was hoping for… especially since it’s someone I don’t know.)
Check out your family traditions! A few of them ask you to leave a chair for the “unexpected guest” or the ghost of a family member. There are some wonderful stories that will warm the heart if you look into this. Does it have to be a tradition from your family to adopt it? Nope.
How do you make a seating chart? Let me tell you the NUMBER ONE most important part. Nope, it isn’t names (that’s number two). It isn’t who is speaking to each other and who isn’t. It’s TABLE SHAPES AND SIZES!!!
Round table, square table, long rectangles locked together… without knowing the shape, you can’t manage to work out the sketch of the room. And without knowing how many people fit at a table, you can’t assign seats.
Yes, if you have more than 20 people total, you need to do this. Seriously.
Check with those guests from the H post. Does someone have hearing aids, and thus need to be away from the DJ to hear anything? Can a wheelchair guest get easy access to the bathroom and other areas?
Table numbers- The wedding party is at the head table. Parents are at table one.
Read it again. Parents are at table one. 1. Grandparents are at 1 or 2. Siblings are at 1, 2, or 3 (count up if you have lots of them and they aren’t in the party). If they land at any other number, the gossip hounds descend and feelings get hurt. I don’t know why people care, but they do. No matter where you opt to put those people in the room, that’s the table numbers they have.