Creating a wedding table plan can be a real headache so it’s a good idea to create a draft a good few months ahead of the big day.
Most families don’t have the ‘perfect’ (whatever perfect is?) set up and more often than not there are parents that are seperated or family members that don’t get on.
So it really does take some careful consideration when choosing where to seat your guests. You can even play matchmaker with single guests and make the day easier for those who don’t talk by seating them on different tables (or ends of the room!). They’ll thank you later.
The traditional ‘top table’ is normally long, consists of the parents and best man and set up to face your guests. The order in which you seat people though is entirely up to you, these days tradition and formality doesn’t really exist at weddings. If it’s a bit awkward having a long top table due to parental tensions then perhaps opt for a Sweetheart table where just the two of you sit together facing your guests. It can look quite cute and totally breaks tradition! 🙂 (A round top table also makes it difficult to capture the reactions of those sitting on the top table during speeches as some of them will have their backs to me and I try not to move around too much so that i’m not a distration.)
Now you’re probably thinking but how does this effect our photography?
The placement of the top table can effect it greatly. I’ve been to weddings where the top table was along the window wall and this can make it difficult to get nice shots of you all during the speeches as the light behind you (especially if sunny) can wipe you out, be totally uneven or be quite distracting. It basically doesn’t look as good as it would do if the light were behind me and facing you. So bare this in mind when discussing the floor plan with your venue. Top table facing window light = better photos. However! This is all venue/room dependent and which direction the sun sets so i’d suggest visiting the venue a week before at the same time you plan to have your breakfast to see how the light falls in the room.
If you’re having a Yurt like the one below the top table placement doesn’t really apply as the light is normally quite good and relatively even.
Advice by Emma B at ELS Design Photography