For the love of single people…

…have a seating plan at your wedding!

Well, maybe not for all single people, but think about your guest list. Are there single people coming who might not know anyone there other than the bridal party? If so, have a seating plan so they have an assigned place to sit and assigned people with whom to make conversation with. Heck, maybe even use it as an opportunity to set them up with another single person on your guest list! [Just, for the love of your friends, choose carefully. I had a really bad set-up at a wedding once and it nearly put me off the friend…] In fact, I’ve already had conversations with brides getting married later in the year who were already – without my prompting – thinking of male guests they could pair me with. Those, dear readers, are excellent friends. I know some people think they’re a pain – but what isn’t fun about a colour-coded chart?!

Anyway, Saturday’s wedding – of one of my oldest friends – had no seating plan. Being a classic introvert, I resisted choosing a seat amongst total strangers (and almost exclusively happy couples/families) and waited until the last minute, at which point I discovered a fellow singleton who was willing to pair up with me for table security. Fortunately, we vaguely knew each other – just hadn’t seen each other in about a decade. This could have been a happy ending, were it not for the fact that the only tables with seats left were in an ante-room off the main hall, whose other tables were already occupied by the (estranged until a few years ago) extended family of the groom. We found an empty table and set off to avail ourselves of the buffet, assuming that others would join the table by the time we returned.

They did not. For the whole meal I was sat next to this guy with no one else to talk to. It was fine, we had some good banter (though I did spend a very long time trying to remember which of the girls in our group of friends he’d dated when we were at school) and he was at least something of a conversationalist. Of course, I should have predicted that a guy who had confessed to being an atheist when I mentioned I was a trainee priest (and who is something of an intellectual) would come out with some cracking questions – like asking me for my rationale for my belief in God.

It’s not that I minded the question or answering it, it’s just that getting into philosophical debate at a wedding isn’t necessarily my idea of a good time – especially after a couple of drinks. So I did what anyone else would do, I tweeted about it and got a surprising amount of tweets back – after which I felt a tad guilty, he was only asking a logical question after all! We then had the faith chat with a wider group of people, largely consisting of the children of clergy (including one atheist who could have been a 5th generation vicar). Oh, and later, just for good measure, the two of us discussed the pros and cons of the institution of marriage…deep.

Thing is, had there been a seating plan, we’d almost certainly have been sat together. (No exaggeration, aside from a bridesmaid and the brother of the bride, we were the only single adults there.) It just would have been a lot less awkward had there been other people sat at our table and may have diffused the philosophical banter. On the plus side though, we managed to acquire some extra booze. Every cloud…

Oh, and you know what you definitely should have at a wedding?
A bouncy castle that adults can use and an unlimited ice cream sundae bar. Awesome.