Urgh the dreaded table plan!! This is undoubtedly one of the things my couples struggle with most. You can’t sit so-and-so next to so-and-so but if you put him there she will be on her own. It can become a small nightmare.
So my advice? There are a couple of ways you can approach this. Firstly, and possibly easier, is to mix everyone up. So guests on the brides side won’t be sitting next to their partners or family members but next to a guest from the grooms side instead. This gets everyone to mingle and start conversations and possible form new friendships (or possibly grudges, depending who you sit next to who!!)
The alternative is the more usual and popular way of putting together your table plan, but needs a bit of thinking about.
Let’s assume you are having a top table (there are alternatives to a top table but that’s a whole other blog post!), on the top table will be the Bride and Groom (or Bride and Bride or Groom and Groom) the Parents of the wedded couple, a Bridesmaid or two and the Bestman/men. Parents go next to the happy couple – tradition dictates that parents are not sat next to their respective partners but I’m not really one for tradition!! I say whatever works best for you. Beside the Parents then sit Bridesmaids and Bestmen.
Then I recommend you will need the rest of the wedding party sitting on a table close by, ideally in front or beside the top table. If you are handing thank you presents out it’s best if they are close by to come up to the top table. Also in front or near the top table should really be family members. Nan’s and Grandad’s, Aunties and Uncle’s and Cousin’s will no doubt like to be close to the newlyweds.
Behind them will then be the rest of your guests. So friends, work colleagues etc.
Unless you are going to try the mix-match option I suggest sitting guests with partners and other guests they will know as this will make them feel most comfortable. If they aren’t going to know anyone else then stick them on a great table that has forthcoming guests and you know they will have a great time on!
I hope my suggestions have helped. As I say this is only a suggestion, go by what you think will work best, you know your guests after all.