I have a fairly unconventional family. When I say unconventional I mean that there are a few people who don’t really like each other, and there are only 5 of us. Then there’s R’s family, a huge extended family who (almost) all get on amazingly well. We didn’t want to draw attention to that so we decided we needed a way to make our table plan strategic in keeping family members separate without it looking obvious. Hence, our alternative wedding table plan.
We knew that it would take a few attempts so we used the Busy B table planner and started well ahead of time for a ‘worst case scenario’ of everyone turning up. I know, I know, it’s awful saying ‘worst case scenario’, but seriously, I can’t even write in words how stressful it could have been.
So this table plan has little stickers that you can move around, which was extremely helpful. And move them around we did. A lot. There were conversations like, “ok, so that person needs to be across the room from this person, and they need to be facing so they won’t see each other”. Yeah. That bad.
Top Table Etiquette
We ditched the etiquette. Plainly and simply, it was gone, out of the window, long before we even thought about the table plan. Instead of the traditional family top table we have gone with a top table consisting of bridesmaids and groomsmen. We also ditched the boy-girl layout and went with one side men and the other women, because lets face it, we’ll all have much more fun that way.
There are loads of alternative wedding table plan ideas out there with different plans for top tables that you can change up depending on your family dynamic. Some people opt for a sweetheart table, which is just the bride and groom. We could have also opted for a tiny top table with just us and Oliver, but we knew he’d have more fun sitting with his cousins. That’s why we put him on the table directly in front of us.
Distributing the family
As my parents separated a long time ago, we have put them on different tables. To make it slightly less obvious we have separated R’s family too. We aimed to go for a ‘sibling per table’ for the first five, but as my brother isn’t coming we’ve got our families spread between the first six tables, including our parents. By spreading out the families in our ‘alternative wedding table plan’ it makes it less obvious to people who don’t know about the family dynamics.