A Right Seating Pain!

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One thing stands between blogger Vanessa Pope and her September wedding…the dreaded table plan!

I’ve been having a lot of wedding related dreams lately. They vary broadly from disasters happening at other people’s weddings to super-duper apocalypse scale disasters happening at my own. Just the other night, I dreamt our venue had a Nathan Carter impersonator contest which had to be held while we were trying to eat our dinner – please see last week’s post for additional information on why this actually qualifies as a full on nightmare.

None of these night time imaginings can quite compare with the waking horror of starting your own wedding’s seating plan.  You start off with an empty room and like that jigsaw that you bought with your communion money that you ended up throwing against the wall in a tantrum, it’s up to you to solve the puzzle. Fifty bums versus fifty seats!

Seating plan

Yes, I am fully aware how lightly I’m getting off. I hear about you ladies with your 350+ guest lists and if I wore a hat, I’d take it off to you, I really would. There should be some sort of Noble Prize for that carry on, seriously. I mean, where do you even start with a project like that? Do you take a week off work? Or maybe you quit your job and working on a seating plan becomes your new job?

Seating plan stress

I thought arranging a seating plan would be easy. Hey, all my guests get along don’t they? Of course they do! Being around my friends and family is like being in a big lovefest with not one bad word or thought between the whole lot of them. Each weekend everyone goes out for dinner together and we all send each other love letters in the post. You did know I was marrying into the Brady Bunch right??

Okay, so I may be exaggerating slightly but still, we’re not the worst group of friends and family. There are no sworn enemies amongst us, no Donald Trumps or Hillary Clintons to speak of. So why then, did I start my table plan a fortnight ago and still haven’t managed to get it finished?

I’ll tell you why – people that’s why. The cheek of the lot of them having their own interests in music and films and outdoor pursuits and dare I bring the f-word into play here – football teams! I get one table organised – all nice and pretty and perfect and I’m in the middle of drawing the centre pieces with a carefully chosen colouring pencil and then I remember that Peter is sat next to Dermott* and Peter* is a Liverpool fan who hates Man United with a fiery passion and just like that my perfect table is ruined – I may as well scribble out my little centre piece and start all over again!

So, I’ve put Peter at another table and having done careful and ninja like surveillance have deducted that no other man creature at that table supports Man U. Goal!! Then, I’ve drawn my centrepiece and have actually made it as far as sketching a rough outline of a nearby window when I remember that Peter’s wife, Cheryl* is a huge Kim Kardashian fan and even went and bought that book she did with all the selfies and then, you guessed it, I have to start all over again as Cheryl is obviously uninvited from the whole wedding.

After that, I go back to the “top table” to make sure that all of the bridal party do actually like each other and don’t have any football team or narcissistic celebrity obsessions. We’re all good. Phew. I go and have a cup of tea and a biscuit to celebrate having completed one whole table while the rest of my guests (which are represented by little pink stickers) flounder helplessly on the carpet for the dog to lick.

Seating plan tabs

The difficulty in planning a half decent seating plan is the tendency to overthink it. So desperate are you to have everything just perfect – whatever that is – that people’s most miniscule differences become as problematic (in your wee head) as the Middle Eastern Crisis. God love ye! The fact that your Aunty Muriel* won five thousand in a raffle that she then used to buy a new car that your Aunty Doris* has always been jealous off, is not a reason to sit them at opposite ends of a room.

There are only so many combinations of people and eventually you have to accept that different people are going to have to sit beside each other and if they don’t like it, take my advice – draw a little exit door on your seating plan – and make sure everyone knows where to find it!

Venue Snap

*names have been changed to protect the identities of real people. Aunty Muriel still loves that wee car.