How To Create A Stunning Wedding Floor Plan
Planning for a wedding reception can be overwhelming, and making the wedding floor plan workable can be its challenge. Fortunately, there are options to make sure that your floor plan is an operational success while also being pleasing to look at. There are things to keep in mind when planning out everything to be included in the floor plan, including making sure that there is simply enough space for everything desired! You don't want a crammed venue space, no matter how wonderful it looks from the outside. Here are a few essential things to work through when planning the floor plan for your wedding.
Organizing The Guest List
Whether you are planning your wedding or are a professional event planner, getting the guest list organized and figuring out where people should be seated can take up an excessive amount of time. Unless you do a few key things to help make the process easier and faster. First, start by grouping people together, which will help in the placement of them. A wedding party is a group, and you need a space for them. Then there are the bride and groom's parents, plus any children that may still live at home with them. These people will likely be seated with or near each other, depending on the number of people in the group. After that, you go to other more immediate family members, such as siblings of the bride and groom in their own families. After that, you can look at the grandparents and other extended family members. Don't forget about your friends as a group as well; they are important and have played a part in your relationship. As you dig further into your guest list, it will become evident for many of the people where they should be seated. This leaves a few "danglers" that you'll have to deal with judiciously. Grouping people together like this dramatically enhances the speed at which you can organize a seating arrangement for everyone.
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Creating The Floor Plan
Ideally, you would be using a software program designed for event layouts like weddings and such. You could use paper and pencil, but the software is the way to go to make things as easy as possible, especially for last-minute adjustments. There are several things that you will need to make sure you have room for, or at least accommodate if there will be double-duty in some cases. If you are a planning professional, you can save the setups that you design so that when you have to use the same venue again in the future, with a similar number of people, you can readily call up the old plan and modify from there.
Beyond having a space for the head table, gift table, and dance floor, there are other spaces that you may want to designate for the event. Most common would be a cocktail bar, which is important to put on the far side of the room opposite the entrance. This forces people to flow into the room and disperse rather than being clumped up. You may also have a unique cake table to showcase the cake you will have. Often this is near the gift table, but further into the space, again to help people move along and into the full room. You'll want to be sure that the bathrooms are visible and accessible, as well as emergency exits beyond the main entrance/exit. Beyond all of these, you may have particular locations for a photo booth, all of the tables for guests to sit at, a stage or podium area, a buffet table, a DJ booth, and more, depending on what is needed for the event.
Table Set Up
When it comes to the table setup, most of the time, round tables are chosen. And while there are reasons why they are used a lot, sometimes it is worth it to "break" the round table rule. So, where do you start with the table setup? Easy: the bride and groom. Where will you seat them? Again, the standard is at a head table with the wedding party, but what if you wanted to mix things up? Why not try using a sweetheart table where just the bride and groom can be, sharing and talking about the day's activities before they mingle with the rest of the guests. If you aren't using a head table, then where will you be seating your wedding party? The odds are that your wedding party is made up of friends and family, and it wouldn't be wrong to have them sit with their families. There are other ways to honor their help and sacrifice beyond just a unique table, and those gifts may last longer than just the one night of celebration. Lastly, you'll have seating for everyone else. When choosing the tables for general seating, consider any elderly guests and where they are seated. You may also want to adjust the size of tables based on the group size; this automatically changes the standard table staggering because of the larger and smaller size tables. You may want to place placards at the tables for where you have people sitting, either in part or in total, for your guests. Additionally, it is good to provide a table layout and guest list to the caterers, so they know who is sitting to deliver the right food to the right person.
Weddings are all about the married couple, so when you plan out the floor plan for the wedding reception, it is important that everyone can have a good time and see what is going on throughout the venue. Whether the happy couple is seated alone, with the wedding party, or scattered throughout the venue, everyone wants to see what they are doing. Likewise, when the meal happens, you don't want a jumbled mess no matter if things are served buffet style or are hand-delivered by the caterer. Properly utilizing the space for the event isn't something that you whip up in a half-hour session; it takes time to ensure that all aspects are covered, that the bathrooms aren't hidden, that the cocktail bar is readily accessible, and that everyone has a good time, whether that's chatting with friends and family or dancing the night away.
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