It seems to be one of the hardest tasks for any couple doing the table plan. There are lots of great online tools you can use these days including Tablerrr.com where you can input all your guests and move around the seats, tables and positions. Or the good ole fashioned route of round paper plates and lots of post it notes! I love tactile so physically moving people around appeals but if you go down the digital route, then make sure you print off and stick it on your fridge so you can live with it for a little while before making anything final!
The traditional Top Table contains the Bride, Groom, both sets of Parents, the Best Man and Chief Bridesmaid / Maid of Honour. This arrangement still works really well for lots of people and it's obviously an easy one if both sets of parents are still together. But family politics can sometimes make this arrangement awkward so don't feel you're tied to this.
There are so many ways to do a top table now and really, anything goes. The intimate 'sweetheart table' with just the couple on. Some time together to absorb the day and observe your nearest and dearest. Ideal if there are family politics to consider, but also just a very sweet way to spend a little time just the two of you which is massively important on the big day. Too many couples get to the end of the day and realise they didn't spend much of it together!!
You could also consider having Bride, Groom, Bridesmaids and Groomsmen and asking each set of parents / step parents to 'host' a VIP table each.
If you have children already then including them on the top table is also an option. Depending on their ages they may feel happier with other children for the speeches but chances are they'll end up sitting with you at some point anyway!
There's also the option to have no top table at all. You could include a few extra chairs around the room and have a different course at different tables so you circulate around the room. Big long tables also feel very inclusive with less hierarchy as to who's on what table, but obviously aren't practical for every venue.
For the rest of your guests you can opt to sit people in friendship groups or try and mix everyone up so friends who may not have met have the chance to make some new friends. If you have single guests coming, try not to match make too much! It's fine to sit them next to each other but probably best they don't feel like they've been set up on a blind date from the off, so ensure they have some good friends on the table too.
Whatever you decide, try not to put too much pressure on yourself. It's your day and whatever happens, it's a room full of your closest family and friends, so wherever they sit, they're going to have a great time sharing your big day. Vx