The task of creating a wedding table plan is rarely an easy one, and certainly made increasingly more complex the more people you invite. But one of the most difficult things to try to achieve with any wedding table plan is to see past the assumptions and traditions.
It is traditional to have a Top Table, and it’s traditional to number each table for the convenience of guests. These are just two traditions, or assumptions, and people tend to go along with these without even thinking about it. Yet often making these assumptions can cause a whole raft of problems.
Top Tables were relatively easy years ago when families tended to be more traditional. But today family units are much more dynamic, with parents separating and remarrying, and often the Bride and Groom are presented with a choice between having a Top Table as long as the Great Wall of China, or insulting several very close members of family by ‘demoting’ them to ‘ordinary’ tables.
But even numbering tables carries an inevitable insult. Imagine being invited to the wedding of one of your best friends, only to discover that you’ve been dumped on table 18. That means that with six people to a table, you rank precisely 109th at best on their importance list. Never mind the fact that the tables are situated in such a way that table 18 is actually right next to the Top Table – numbers denote a hierarchy, and a hierarchy has the power to cause offence.
So when creating your wedding table plan, consider options other than having a Top Table and table numbers. Unless you don’t like your friends very much.