Following my engagement in August 2011, I immersed myself into the process of wedding planning alongside my fiancé.  Being the technology fanatic I am, I’ve turned to my iPad numerous times throughout the process.  One of the most difficult part of event planning is figuring out how to sit everyone while keeping the most people happy.  For this, again I turned to my iPad for help.  Enter myBanquet.  Creating the room’s layout and assigning people to tables was as fun as it was easy.  Join us after the break as we take you through our myBanquet for iPad review.

Drawing a picture of circles with people’s name in them is one way to do it.  Designing the entire banquet room – complete with bars, tables, DJ stand, Buffet, and Dance floor is an entirely different one.  With myBanquet, you can do just that – and I’m only scratching the surface.  Other features include uploading an Invitee list (or just creating it within the app), RSVP Tracking, Emailing Reports, and even designing the event to scale.  The app works intuitively, so there is really little need for any kind of instruction manual.  Although, certain tasks – such as uploading from a spreadsheet do come stock with directions.

Setting up Your Venue
Hopefully you either have pictures or a mental image of how your banquet room is laid out.  Using either a prebuilt template to start, or starting from scratch, myBanquet will provide the visual elements to build your room virtually with all the typical elements included.  Some elements allow you to alter their settings, such as number of seats at a table, size, positioning, etc.  Others are simply there as a visual information point – such as a DJ booth which looks like a turntable, a dance floor, a bar, or a cake table.  All this is really cool, but the real useful part comes next – assigning guests to tables.

The Guest List
Any way you look at it, there is going to be some level of grind to get all your guests seated on a chart.  While old fashion pen and paper is one way, and a common way – myBanquet aims to limit the time you’re entering guests and maximize the time you’re thinking about where to seat them. Therefore, there are multiple ways to get your guests into myBanquet.  Within the Contacts section lay a bar of icons.  These will allow you to enter guests manually, import your Facebook friend list, send yourself a prebuilt excel template to enter your guests elsewhere and re-upload later, and a contact book to import from your iPad Contacts.  Every time I have tried to import from my iPad contact list, the app has crashed – even after a hard reboot.  I definitely have to lower my rating a bit for this – but everything else seems to work and it’s therefore still a highly useful app.

Assigning Guests to Tables
So you have your layout done – your elements are where they belong and you have all of your invitees loaded into the app through one of the many methods listed above.  Now it’s time to get to the hard part – placing people in tables.  Holding down on a table brings up an interface which lets you not only add people, but even change their individual placement at the table and change the Table settings (if needed).  Going through this process is easy and fun.  Having an app this helpful alleviates some wedding stress simply by giving you something fun to do rather than the normal arduous process you may follow with a pen and paper.

Overall
Every time I find an app that solves a problem or makes a process in my life easier I am excited to share it with others.  myBanquet, while specific in purpose is chalk full of features and helpfulness.  I would love if I could import my contacts list without a crash, but the other 95% of the app more than makes up for that small fault at this point.  At $3.99, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what your probably paying for the event you’re going to plan while using it.  My fiancé loves that I am actually somewhat enjoying the planning process and I have apps like this to thank for it.  A 9/10!