First, what is it? Simply the billboard naming the tables and the seat assigned to each person, placed at the entrance of the hall.
- Needed? Yes!
Wild seat hunting is a bad practice to avoid. The tableau facilitates your guests to find their seat, avoiding confusion and inconvenience. There is always a shy friend who does not know where to go, the family of 5 people who moves from one table to the other to have 5 close seats, the uncle who arrives late and can’t but sit down with the groom’s goliardic friends with no common topic to discuss with him.
Your wedding day, or more generally your event, must be pleasant for your guests. It may happen that someone should sit next to a person hitherto unknown but you know all your guests, you can choose the right table based on age, interests, possible common arguments. Place the poor latecomer uncle next to your neighbor, who is used to go often to the same tennis club and attended that tournament in 1960. You will make them both happy and even happier the groom’s goliardic friends who shan’t moderate terms.
Let’s move on to the details, how do we design the tableau?
The tableau shall be aligned with the design of the whole event, recalling the floral and general decorations of the hall: the keyword is harmony, therefore it shall be consistent with the whole context and with the menu.
On the tableau each table will have a name that must make sense to the organizers. Talking about weddings, tables might be named as poets if the couple is fond of poetry, famous singers, if the couple share a passion for music, flowers or fruits, if the wedding takes place in a farm. If we talk about corporate dinner, the table may recall the range of products or the market of reference.
Consequently, let’s start by wondering “what do we like?”, “What theme are we inspired by?”.
We said poets, music, flowers but also wines, trees, historical characters, travel and music: the proposals to prepare a beautiful table map are so many.
Other ideas? Artworks, cities, Japanese manga, cars, Egyptian or Roman gods, soccer players, motorcycles, movies players, Formula 1 races, TV series …
Free your imagination but keep tight two essential point.
- First, name the tables sticking to the wedding thread.
- Second, choose consistent shape and decorations.
Let’s go into details to understand what we mean by consistency.
If you are fond of music, it is not enough to make a list of random singers and pretending it has been an original idea. Nobody will remember this detail if isolated with no connection to any other detail. The decorations of the room, the favors, the placeholders, everything shall stick to a specific theme, so that the guests will tie the music theme to your event.
If you are a fan of hard rock music but decide to get married in a farmhouse and choose lavender jute favors, you can not design a tableau with AC / DC photos, rather you can use old vinyl LP and name each table after their albums.
Thinking about wedding in a farmhouse, it would be nice to be inspired by fruit and vegetables, taking up the theme with the centerpieces, for example placing fruit in small wooden boxes with rustic cork or Thun apple placeholders and favors, for example, bio cans to create a micro-garden at home.
Friends, this is a must, it is very important that the tableau style, placed at the entrance of the restaurant, corresponds to the style of the decorations placed on the table, which can also be memories for your guests.
The theme of trips and travels fits to any kind of restaurants. A vintage planisphere is very stylish, on which you can pin the cards with the names of the tables.
A delicious alternative is the gastronomic tableau, with names of meal courses and recipes, which will be reflected in the placeholders: finger foods, macarons or chocolates, each one carrying a “flag” with the name of the guest.
Let’s go deeper into our imagination. Another cute theme are myths and legends, like Uranus, Neptune but also Thor and Superman. Art is a world that leaves ample room to imagination, focusing on a character and his works or on a historical period or on painting rather than sculpture and so on.
Same as above for literature. Names of novels or writers, thinking of frames as a centerpiece, each with a quote from the author or book titles as names of the table.
Romantic wedding? Choose feelings and emotions as theme for the tableau. Original wedding? Playing cards or board games are valid alternatives.
Let’s go back to the general look&feel. We chose the tableau and named all the tables, assigning seats to our guests.
Consequently on each table there will be the card reporting the name of that table, to allow guests to orientate and find theirs easily. Then on each seat there will be the placeholder: a card reporting the guest’s name, same look&feel of the whole event.
Once the number of tables and seating assignments have been established, the grid is drawn and delivered to the catering, it is important to clarify with the catering and the venue managers how the tables are to be arranged, the space between each table and the guest arrangement.