You invitations are out and now the fun begins! You wait anxiously everyday for the mail man to deliver your mail hoping to receive multiple little envelopes or postcards informing you of who will be attending your big day. As the replies start trickling in you start checking off your guest list. Who said yes, exactly how many guests will be there and what their meal choices will be are some of the things you'll be calculating.
Then comes the seating chart - who sits next to whom? Typically, your tables will consist of family, friend tab and then the hodgepodge of people who may know you but are strangers to each other. Some people do away with seating charts altogether...no place cards nor seating boards, guests simply seat themselves. But honestly what's the fun in that??!!
Seating Plan Tip
Having a hard time with your seating plan? Here's a little tip that might make things easier. Start a spreadsheet or document with your entire guest list. Group everyone by how you know them (for example; brides family, grooms family, cousins, close friends, co-workers, high school friends, etc...). Try to keep these lists at 8 to 12 per group. When your replies come in you can delete the declined guests from your spreadsheet and keep the accepts. When all of your replies are in you can use this list to start your seating chart. You will already have people grouped and ready to seat together at tables and will only need to make some minor adjustments and moves to accommodate the number that can seat at each table :)
Once your seating chart is finished, it's time to decide on how your guest will find out where they will be seated at the reception location. The traditional way is the classic fold over card with the guest's name and table number printed or handwritten. Over the years the traditional card has evolved into so much more. In the near future we will do another post on the place card. What we would like to talk about is another alternative to the place card, the seating plan...
What is a seating plan?
The seating board is a poster size board that lists all of the tables along with you guest's names. The idea is to WOW your guests with a decorative board that makes them feel part of the "A-list". There's a lot of creative things that can be done with a board. Allow the theme of your wedding to follow through on a matching seating plan. Use the same color scheme, flowers and overall style to suit your wedding. If you have a beach wedding we can add seashells or sand to the actual board. If your wedding is at a winery we can add corks or wine labels.
What is included on the board?
Basically, we list the bride and groom names on the top, followed by the head table, immediate family, extended family, friends and so forth. Each section has the table number/name and the guest's names listed below in alphabetical order, or however you decide.
Here are two seating plans we've done with some fun details:
1940's Old Hollywood wedding theme.
Ivory and red shimmer paper with ivory ribbon.
*** notice the fun wording for the head table "featuring" for the bride & groom and "co-stars" for the wedding party***
Who, what, when, how? These are some questions you may ask when starting your wedding planning. After you decide on your wedding date it's time to make things official with a save the date.
What is a save the date you ask?
It's a small informal announcement sent to your guests to let them know of your wedding date and place. You can get as detailed as you would like, but on the norm you mainly list your names, the date and city your wedding will take place and inform them a formal invitation will follow. Some include hotel information at this time. Save the dates are especially great if you will be having a lot of out of town guests. You can list your wedding website where they can get more information about the big day.
When do I mail out save the dates?
Typically, a save the date is mailed between a year and six months prior to your wedding. If you are having a destination wedding we recommend a year from your date since guests will need to make major travel arrangements, take time off from work and save up some extra cash, especially if it's out of the country. When mailing save the dates less than six months prior to your wedding you will be cutting it close to your mailing date for your wedding invitations.
How do I design a save the date?
There are many different save the date styles. We can design a postcard, a small invitation card, which can match your "to be" wedding invitations, calendar stickers or a save the date magnet. The save the date magnets have been a HUGE hit! Your guests will love that they can stick it to their refrigerator or filing cabinets, and they have a daily reminder of your wedding to come - there's plenty of room to be creative. Anything can be added to you save the date card or magnet...a calender, your engagement photo, a picture of the destination where you'll be married, or we can start with any theme you may have in mind.
Who gets a save the date?
You don't have to send a save a date to everyone you are inviting, but you do have to send an invitation to everyone you've mailed a save the date. You want to make sure that your guests have plenty of time to prepare and plan for your wedding arrangements. Any guests who have to make travel plans should get a save the date, even your wedding party - plain and simple, anyone who you REALLY want to attend your wedding:)